So when my intrepid friends suggested a hike up the evacuation route of the tramway, I hesitated a little. "I don't think they allow you to do that," J said thoughtfully as he prepared to (legally) take the gondola to the top. But after the first small piece of tram property, it was all Forest Service, I argued. There's no closure order. It has to be legal!
So we headed off without anyone stopping us. We skirted around tram property and gained the trail. The trail was extremely steep, but we were doing it, climbing several thousand feet in an hour. It was a great occasion to be on a trail I had never been on before. Until we passed under the gondola's path.
A man opened the door of the gondola (!) and screamed at us. "YOU CAN'T BE HERE! I'M THE TRAM MANAGER! I'M CALLING THE POLICE! GET OFF THE TRAIL NOW!"
He only had a few seconds to make his point as the cable car drifted out of sight. We looked at each other. Was this an empty threat? If we kept going, would they be waiting for us at the top? I knew we were in the right, because we were on Forest Service land. But it wasn't worth it. We reluctantly descended. There were no police in sight (I think they have better things to do).
Later, at a party, my other friends were not divided. "We would have kept going," they announced. Of course, it is easy to say when you don't have a gondola car full of crazy. It's hard to stick to your guns when someone is so angry. Even if you are right.
Disappointed, we gathered at the parking lot and pointed out the lack of signs indicating the grave wrongness of our actions. But in the end none of us wanted to end up in the Police Blotter. I trudged over to pay for a gondola ticket. I had to salvage a failed hike, and it was worth the exorbitant price to see some skiers dedicated to finding the remaining snow.
What's my point? Be nice. Even if you think you're right. I see so many people these days lashing out immediately without taking time to think. It can be such a mean world; let's not perpetuate that in our own little circles. (And: if you hike up the evac trail, sprint between the tram lines. You are on public land. Don't let anyone tell you differently.)