Often people get the wrong idea about me. I've had people I don't know well call me a "loner". That really isn't true. I am the kind of person who would rather have a handful of kindred spirits than a bunch of superficial acquaintances.
I do a lot of my hiking solo because it is pretty hard to find people who want to do what I do in a town of less than 1500. A good friend has moved, and one has a strange illness that I am hoping goes away soon. There are people who will take walks and a few pretty hardcore runners but the hikers are few and far between. The backpackers are almost non-existent. It's the one thing I would change about living here if I could.
Fortunately I don't mind my own company and I am comfortable in the woods. I set off on Saturday without a set plan and willing to push it a little. That's another quality that is hard to find. Not saying I am better than anyone, I just seem to want to endure obstacles (perhaps foolishly) more than some people. Of course I have my boundaries, for example I wouldn't hole up on Mount Everest for days in a tent just to get to the summit.
I decided to take the climber's trail to intersect the Chief Joseph trail, which turned out to be a good choice. There's a steep waterfall on the main trail that you can't navigate easily most of the time.
So no, internet friends, I am not a "loner". In fact, I never really feel lonely in the woods. If the stars align and someone is able to go, that is a bonus. Either way, I'll be out there.