Thursday, July 26, 2007
More About Yosemite
I can't think of a way of writing about this hike without sounding like a thoughtless complainer, but I still have the need to record it. We hiked for eleven miles and I ended up having to practically carry this twenty-year-old girl from our camping group, who I thought we were only giving a ride up to Tuolumme Meadows (an hour from Yosemite Valley) . A friend from work organizes this trip every year, but we've only gone a couple of years, so we don't know everyone very well. Just as we were about to take off to Tuolumme Meadows, this girl's mother told me, "Brooke has Asperger's Syndrome, (a mild form of autism) but she'll be fine. Blah, blah, blah." I had thought that Brooke seemed a bit odd, but certainly not dysfuctional.
Brooke was not fine. Half-way through the hike, the trail got a little rocky and she wanted me to hold her hand, then she wanted me to support her, then she wanted to go back, which I told her wasn't an option since my daughter was with a group ahead of us, and I wanted to be close to them. It wasn't an awful experinece, but it was annoying. I have some sympathy for Brooke, but I can't believe that her mother just sent her off like that on a huge hike when she's afraid of rocks!! Maybe her mother didn't know, although an aquaintance said that she did the same thiing to someone else on a big hike last year. The teacher in me made me lecture Brooke a little when we were finished, "You shouldn't go on these hikes if you can't do it by yourself, Brooke." My son ended up being quite happy that Brooke was such a pain and slowed us down so much, because we ended up having to cut the hike short. We turned back about a mile before our destination so that the group ahead of us wouldn't have to wait for us forever. Kai took a little nap on a rock before we headed back. What a trooper! Oh...and neither Brooke nor her mother said so much as a thank you.
My friend's wife later told me that it was so nice that I "took care of Brooke," but I told her that it really wasn't because I had complained to some people about it. I think I'm finished complaing. But I can tell you that if Brooke asks for a ride to a trailhead next year, we're all full up!