March 21 was the first day with over 20 hikers by my place. Since Wild (the movie), I have become increasingly ambivalent about the herd. Group dynamics among hikers change dramatically when there are so many of them, and they seem less interested in engaging with non-hikers in any meaningful way. (The herd is also dominated by younger men, who often have less to share of interesting life experience and seem increasingly fixated on their smartphones, at the expense of direct human interaction or experience of the natural world around them.)
I was glad last week to have two PCT thru hikers staying over at my house, waiting out the rainy/snowy weather. They came as strangers and left as friends. I just don’t seem able to have those sort of interactions when the herd is moving through.