A 25-year-old woman was an avid backpacker who had a long-standing dream of hiking the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The woman’s dream would soon become a reality, but it wouldn’t come without social tensions.
Telling Her Loved Ones
The woman had always been vocal about her dream to hike the entire PCT trail. In particular, she had confided in her friend and grandmother about the dream, but they had sadly since passed away.
A New Companion
Things took an optimistic turn when a friend, named Zoe, expressed her interest in joining the adventure. Zoe had apparently mentioned her backpacking experience in front of the hiker, which seemed like a good fit at the time.
Early Signs Of Trouble
Before they even set foot on the trail, a red flag emerged. “Zoe texted me saying she was scared of bears at the Mexican border”, the woman explained. “However, she then quickly sends a text redacting her fear”.
A Revealing Admission
Confused but unconcerned, the hiker was joined by Zoe, and the pair proceeded to begin the PCT hike. However, upon picking Zoe up, the woman noticed that her backpack was unusually large. “I questioned it, and she laughed, saying that she may have overpacked, but will manage just fine”
A Shocking Revelation
On the way to the trailhead, Zoe dropped a bombshell – she had never been backpacking before. This revelation left the hiker feeling anxious, considering the extensive planning she had put into this hike.
A Painful Realization
Just five miles into the hike, Zoe was already in pain. She disclosed that she had a “dead bone” in her foot, a crucial piece of information previously withheld.
The Burden Grows
After ten miles, Zoe couldn’t carry her own pack any longer. The hiker, determined to make the best of the situation, carried Zoe’s pack along with her own.
The Unbelievable Pack Contents
The contents of Zoe’s pack raised eyebrows. The woman explained that it contained an excessive amount of toiletries, two weeks’ worth of medication, seven different drinking apparatuses, two medium-sized lanterns (tags still attached), and an array of clothing, including cotton items, despite an impending rain forecast.
The Breaking Point
With her own pack now weighing over 60 pounds due to Zoe’s belongings, the hiker reached her breaking point after seven miles. She realized she couldn’t risk injury so early in her six-month hike and confronted Zoe.
At a lakeside, the hiker informed Zoe that this was the last pick-up point and suggested that she reconsider her commitment. Zoe ultimately decided to leave.
A Frustrated Exchange
After Zoe had departed, the hiker vented her frustration to Zoe through text. In response, Zoe sent an extensive eight-page document, calling the hiker out for not considering her feelings.
Was The Hiker Wrong?
The hiker reflected on the situation and wondered if she was in the wrong for not being more considerate of Zoe’s lack of experience. Had she known, she would have advised Zoe not to join the hike. However, Zoe had been enthusiastic about joining the hike, so the woman had assumed that she had appropriate experience.
Asking The Internet
The woman headed online with her story, asking an online community whether they felt Zoe was due an apology. Many people responded in the comment section. “Zoe didn’t know what she was doing, and what’s worse, she misled you about her experience, concealed an injury that made hiking difficult, and was, in general, a load on you”, one person empathized.
Many readers were shocked at how misleading Zoe had been to the hiker. “I have no idea why someone would just think, “backpacking, no big deal!” let alone misrepresent their experience and ability”, wrote one commenter. “Especially someone who has a known impairment that could be a factor when hiking a long distance.”
The Silver Lining
One commenter offered some optimistic reassurance. “You are on a 100-150 day hike”, they reminded her. “On about day 80, this will become the most hilarious story ever. Don’t worry about it. You are free”.
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