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  1. #1
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    Default Strangest Encounter on a Trail?

    What was your strangest encounter while on a hike? Any hike.

    Mine was on a 6 mile day hike along Lake Tahoe. I rounded the corner on the trail and met a scuba diver in a full dry suit and re-breather apparatus on his back. He was hiking the 1/2 mile back to where he had parked his car. He looked like a monster from the lost lagoon. My wife & I were so astonished by this that we forgot to take a picture of him. Really weird.

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    Hiking in northern Michigan, just as the sun was setting and the trail was getting to dark to hike without a flashlight, miles from the nearest trail head,

    I came around a corner in the trial and coming towards me was a line of people all in dark hooded robes with rope belts all carrying burning candles.

    I stepped aside and they passed me one by one, no one looked at me, and I could not see their faces. None of them said a word.

  3. #3
    Registered User jfarrell04's Avatar
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    We saw the tuba-dude somewhere in VA back in I think 2000 on a section hike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfayer View Post
    Hiking in northern Michigan, just as the sun was setting and the trail was getting to dark to hike without a flashlight, miles from the nearest trail head,

    I came around a corner in the trial and coming towards me was a line of people all in dark hooded robes with rope belts all carrying burning candles.

    I stepped aside and they passed me one by one, no one looked at me, and I could not see their faces. None of them said a word.

    I was afraid to say anything to you because of the others.

  5. #5
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Was on the AT in Ga about midway in between Unicoi and Hogpen Gap when ahead of me I see a large duffle bag on the edge of the trail stuffed with something. As I passed it, in the small area that was unzipped, I could see heavy coleman camping equipment and books. Not too long after I'd scratched my head a few times and continued on, here comes a guy carrying another large duffle bag that appears to be full of more books and who knows what else. As he passes me he say, "Gotta have my books!" to which I politely smiled a little "of course!" smile and went about my way. Normally, I like to talk to people I pass, at least briefly, but this guy spooked me. I was totally hearing banjo music in my head - no telling what he had in those duffels. Found out later he was making about 4 miles a day and camping in the middle of the trail, leaving the evidence of the fires he was making right on the trail.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  6. #6
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfayer View Post
    Hiking in northern Michigan, just as the sun was setting and the trail was getting to dark to hike without a flashlight, miles from the nearest trail head,

    I came around a corner in the trial and coming towards me was a line of people all in dark hooded robes with rope belts all carrying burning candles.

    I stepped aside and they passed me one by one, no one looked at me, and I could not see their faces. None of them said a word.
    Did they hit their foreheads with boards by any chance?
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerChef View Post
    Did they hit their foreheads with boards by any chance?
    No boards but this was in the 70s and Rosemary's Baby was still on my mind.

    I was just glad none of them had a small child in their arms.

    In retrospect I figured that Northern Michigan University was not that far away, so I tend to think it may have been some frat thing....I hope.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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    Garlic
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    In the Wind River Range in Wyoming, I met a naked hiker tooting "Winchester Cathedral" on a tin whistle. He asked me if I'd seen some friends of his, and I wanted to reply, "Dude, you're never going to find them."

    That was six years ago and I still can't get that tune out of my head.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  9. #9
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    Two come to mind.
    1) Evolution lake in the heart of the Sierra on July 4th a few years ago. I was kicked back enjoying the lake when a lady wearing helmet and a pack comes strolling by and sets up camp a short distance around the lake. Soon she stripped down and went into the lake. After she was fully dressed I went over and met her and lit off sparklers for the holiday. I asked her if she was the world safest hiker given the helmet and she explained how she was a climber and just bagged a couple of peaks.
    2) November at the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite. I met a man who was starting a "thru hike of the jMT". He had a backpack, a front pack and was dragging a rolling suitcase down the trail. he wanted to give me some cans of food and coffee but I politely declined. I still wonder to this day how far up the trail he went. He was aiming to be a Darwin Candidate.

  10. #10

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    Started an E2E of the Long Trail the day of Hurricane Irene, when I was north of Little Rock Pond shelter two gals said there was a weird guy hiking with a rifle. Sure enough I passed him. He wanted to talk so I engaged him for a short while. He was carrying it by cradling it in his arms. Said he was doing an E2E. Who was I to argue! Neither of us mentioned the elephant in the room!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfayer View Post
    Hiking in northern Michigan, just as the sun was setting and the trail was getting to dark to hike without a flashlight, miles from the nearest trail head,

    I came around a corner in the trial and coming towards me was a line of people all in dark hooded robes with rope belts all carrying burning candles.

    I stepped aside and they passed me one by one, no one looked at me, and I could not see their faces. None of them said a word.
    Could be a college fraternity thing....

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    Around 15 years ago I was out alone doing about a 15 mi day hike in the Catskills. Beautiful fall day, with hardly a soul about, I was being quiet and the wildlife was abundant. I saw deer, turkeys, pheasants, grouse, and a woodchuck, and as I stealthily approached the fire tower on Hunter I came upon the sight of two homo sapiens getting intimate. I just kept walking, not wanting to disturb the native wildlife.

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    That is exactly what I was thinking- a college fraternity initiation night.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bfayer View Post
    Hiking in northern Michigan, just as the sun was setting and the trail was getting to dark to hike without a flashlight, miles from the nearest trail head,

    I came around a corner in the trial and coming towards me was a line of people all in dark hooded robes with rope belts all carrying burning candles.

    I stepped aside and they passed me one by one, no one looked at me, and I could not see their faces. None of them said a word.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!



    Some pretty funny posts here...

  15. #15
    Registered User macdude's Avatar
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    I was surveying the property line along the AT, walked upon a naked and stoned sunbather in Rice Gap, north of Devil's Fork Gap.i told him if someone from Spill Corn, the NC side had found him they would kill him. He started running naked down the trail.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    Could be a college fraternity thing....
    Quite possibly. If it had been in the south it would of surely been devil worshipers.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyjam View Post
    That is exactly what I was thinking- a college fraternity initiation night.
    Easy for you to say Out in the woods alone, getting dark, robes... See if you think "hey look it's Animal house"

  18. #18

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    So many strange people I meet while hiking. It's one of the fun parts of hiking/traveling. One of the strangest though was on the AT, a girl/young woman with bright red hair with braided pigtails resembling Pippi Longstocking or the Wendys girl bouncing down the trail on a pogo stick. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. She even stopped to chat a minute with me all the while never stopping pogoing. Up and down, up and down, boing boing boing She told me she was attempting to go 6 miles on the trail bouncing on a pogo stick.

  19. #19

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    We were hiking up to Indian Seats on top of Sawnee Mountain in Cumming Georgia. It was February and the temp was in the teens. We were approached by someone wearing nothing but a loin cloth and a cape. He was walking barefoot in the sub freezing temps too. He asked us if we needed a "guide" to the top. We declined and went on our way.

  20. #20
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    We came across a guy actually riding a unicycle on a trail and he was at least 1-2 miles from any road. It was a woods trail too, not a city park, smooth path.

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