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!

7 comments:

Hege said...

I would love to hike in Yosemite :)
Beautiful landscape there!
But I don't think you're complaining. I guess I would have felt the same way if I had to carry around with a stranger... And not even get a thank you in return.

marit said...

You have some stunning pictures from Yosemite! And you are not complaining!

marit said...

Also- I was going to say Happy birthday to you!!!! A bit late, but...

Tracy said...

Not an easy situation. It is surprising her parents let her go on such an outing. You were good to go along with it...But don't worry about having to beg off next year! ;o)

alltangledup said...

such beautiful pictures... makes me what to visit it even more, but I am note a very good hiker.

I'm sorry that you had such a rotten time with Brooke. It's not easy being responsible for others... especially when the responsibilty wwas foisted on you without any warning. It seems like you made the best of a bad situation though.

The Purloined Letter said...

Certainly a hard and unfair situation. I can't imagine how exhausting it must sometimes be to parent a child like that. While I know you did not intend it or even get warned about it, you did quite a nice thing for not only Brooke but her parents.

Julie said...

I agree that it is exhausting to parent a child with any form of autism, but I can see your point. You were forced into a role that wasn't your choosing, without any training or forewarning. What if something serious had happened? Would anyone have been there to help Brooke? What if you hadn't been as nice a person as you are? You could have been some random pedophile - I hate to take it there, but this is the world we live in. Any number of things could have happened. I think you are right to be annoyed because at the very least you should have been thanked for assisting Brooke on the trip. And you have your own children to worry about too. I'm with you - you want to be nice but you have to draw the line and not feel bad about feeling selfish.