Sweating, tired, swishing a pebble around in your mouth to keep it moist, you stumble towards the water source. As you round the corner, you begin to hear noises. Not the noises of the vastness of the land that you have been hearing for the past 15 miles. It was only you and the vultures, the snakes, the wind, and the sand, what are these new noises that have a different texture to their melody. They almost feel like they have been placed upon the Earth instead of the Earth language itself that you have been listening and feeling for hours. Is it your dehydrated brain yelling at you to drink water? Possibly... Yet, it seems more so tangible more so "real."
As you begin to round the corner, shapes begin to take meaning in front of you. You begin to realize why the melody was so familiar and yet so unknown at the same time. Before you is a group of hikers! The siren call of the water source has attracted more of your animalistic brothers and sisters to the watering hole. Your brain begins to slip back out of the Earth tones and Earth language you had been listening to for hours, and soothingly and familiarly slips into your fellow mammal speech. What could have possibly brought others of your kind here? How would they be here in this instance? There was nothing besides dirt and sand around you endlessly it appeared, yet in an instance your world is filled with fellow animals (hikers)! This is because while every hiker being unique, extremely unique, Good God so uniquely weird... all tend to think in the same wave-lengths to a sense. It is quite an interesting phenomenon when you realize it, and honestly feels a little extra weird... so yea lets get into it!
More likely than not Hiker Think will bring you to food... and a cookout at some point...
The longer we have been hiking and the longer we have been doing many varieties of trails, there seems to be a reoccurring theme. Every single hiker we have ever met has been unique in their own way. Beautifully unique and beautifully weird, yes we are too, well at least weird and unique, we may not be beautiful. Conversations have different flavor, jokes have different punchlines, nationalities and cultures have different childhoods, every time you meet a new hiker, there is a new world you are learning, their world. Any time you meet a new person in fact, not just a hiker. Tone, dialect, opinions, preferences, outlooks, upbringing, everything is uniquely them. Yet, within this uniqueness, within all these thoughts being specific to each hiker, each person, we have found that there is a singular truth. A singular thought that appears to be the same. We call it Hiker Think.
Inside of all the difference and inside of all the uniqueness, hikers will tend to think the same regarding break spots, water sources, campsites, and towns. This is a massive generalization, we guarantee there are hikers that do not fall into this criteria, yet almost all we have met do. So, if you are one of the hikers that do not, beautiful, great, we are talking from our perspective and from what we have seen, and it is one hikers mind maybe making meaning behind coincidence, but we find it fun. So, Hiker Think, what does it mean when referring to what we have previously listed? Well, the best way we know how to describe is to show, so let us show you!
Okay, let us begin with break spots. Whether it is just you hiking, or it is you and your trail family, when you begin your day, you may all check the map together and set a break spot. Yet, just as common if you all have been out on trail before, you know usually the break spot finds you. It could be by a river, on a beautiful sitting rock, or at the top of a climb, but it seems more often than not the break spot has already been pre-defined, waiting for your smelly hiker burden to be laid down. As you continue to climb many unique thoughts may go through your mind that are specifically yours, uniquely and weirdly yours. Yet, there is a reoccurring thought that almost every hiker probably has on the same climb. That thought follows the lines of something like, "once I get to the top I will rest, once I get to the top there will be an epic viewpoint, once I get to the top....once I get to the top.....once I get to the top....." This means that if you are on a popular trail system, you may see no-one as you climb for miles, yet when you arrive on the top of the climb, you will be greeted by other smelly and weary hikers that had the same thought, and have rested their burdens overlooking a beautiful valley.