Monday, May 10, 2010
I went for a hike with my family yesterday in Rocky Mountain National Park to celebrate Mother's Day. It was a perfect day for a hike - 60's, sunny, a few clouds and no wind. As we hiked, we began to notice tracks in the snow that looked like those of a coyote. I'm no Tom Brown so I wasn't sure but they were fun for our son to follow. We hiked to an abandoned mine in the Park, found a nice spot for a picnic and had the place to ourselves. We only saw a few other people on the trails all day. However, on our way back to the trailhead, we heard a group coming from behind us. I turned around an noticed they had a dog on a leash. That explained the tracks in the snow but begged the question as to whether or not the dog owner knew that dogs aren't allowed on Park trails.
The dog owner was moving pretty quickly past us and I knew I'd only have one shot at talking to him about the dog. My initial thought was to just tell him dogs weren't allowed. But as he got closer I changed tact and said, "Howdy. Do you hike here much?" expecting him to say that he was new to the Park, which would allow me the opportunity to tell him about the Park's rule on dogs and why they weren't allowed. Much to my surprise, he told me he "hiked in the Park a lot." To which I said, "I didn't know dogs were allowed on Park trails [playing dumb]." His response got me, "Dogs aren't allowed on the trails but they're [the National Park Service] pretty cool about it this time of year. It's just not a big deal." At this point, I really didn't know what to say. Especially since this guy knew the rules but blatantly chose to break them.
This is the guy whose selfish actions impact the rest of us. Don't be this guy...