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What kinds of questions do stupid people ask?

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What kinds of questions do stupid people ask?

Postby nartreb » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:28 pm

Here in New England, there are certain peaks that you just shouldn't visit (on a summer weekend, anyway) if you enjoy solitude. But last weekend I decided to do a classic hiking loop that I hadn't visited in a long time, despite knowing I'd be elbowing my way through crowds most of the day. I mostly managed to curb the symptoms of my antisocial tendencies, so nobody got shoved over a cliff and no dogs were bitten. But I digress... This thread is for collecting the most stunning questions you've been asked on a trail, such as:

Hiker #1: "Are those edible?" --after seeing me eating some cranberries from the side of the trail

Hiker #2: "What's that building down there?"
Me: "Where? Closer than the pond, or farther?"
Hiker #2: "Oh, a pond... never mind"

Hiker #3: "Which way's the summit?" -- at a junction where one trail went up for a long way, and another went down for a long way.
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Re: What kinds of questions do stupid people ask?

Postby gobriango » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:42 pm

nartreb wrote:Here in New England, there are certain peaks that you just shouldn't visit (on a summer weekend, anyway) if you enjoy solitude. But last weekend I decided to do a classic hiking loop that I hadn't visited in a long time, despite knowing I'd be elbowing my way through crowds most of the day. I mostly managed to curb the symptoms of my antisocial tendencies, so nobody got shoved over a cliff and no dogs were bitten. But I digress... This thread is for collecting the most stunning questions you've been asked on a trail, such as:

Hiker #1: "Are those edible?" --after seeing me eating some cranberries from the side of the trail

Hiker #2: "What's that building down there?"
Me: "Where? Closer than the pond, or farther?"
Hiker #2: "Oh, a pond... never mind"

Hiker #3: "Which way's the summit?" -- at a junction where one trail went up for a long way, and another went down for a long way.



I have never had any problems with busy trails. It doesnt bother me to be out with other people that may not have a clue. The way I look at it is, if they are out there getting it done, that's good enough for me. If there is something I know that they dont, I have no problem sharing whatever knowledge I do have.

I like less crowds for sure but I have never understood hiker's needs for total solitude at all costs.


However, when I am on my mountian bike ... well thats when I am a 100% elitist asshole.
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Postby SophiaClimbs » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:34 pm

These aren't really trail questions but climbing related -

My friend used to lead climbing teams to the former Soviet Union and told me that these otherwise intelligent, sharp people would become so overwhelmed and confused in such a foreign environment, they would lose all common sense and start asking her about everything. One of my favorites - (Looking out a train at cows grazing in a pasture) - Where are those cows going?

I wouldn't say it's stupid but one question that drives me crazy (for its lack of clarity) that I'm asked frequently is: How many mountains have you climbed?
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Postby fossana » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:41 pm

Heading back to the car after climbing at J-tree.

Stupid Guy: Is your boyfriend letting you lead b/c it's Valentine's Day?
Me: Every day is Valentine's Day.
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Postby JHH60 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:09 am

I've been asked the location of the nearest water fountain on what's clearly a wilderness trail, by someone who had brought no water.

It's a slightly different realm, but coming out of the water at Pt. Lobos State Park (a marine life sanctuary that allows limited scuba diving but has strict, clearly posted prohibitions on fishing or taking anything out of the water) I've frequently been asked by tourists how the fishing/ab diving/lobstering/... is at Lobos. This is especially amusing when a ranger happens to be in earshot.
Last edited by JHH60 on Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby icypeak » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:18 am

I once told someone that I was going to Antarctica and they asked me "Oh, what major city will you be staying in?"
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Postby JasonH » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:21 am

icypeak wrote:I once told someone that I was going to Antarctica and they asked me "Oh, what major city will you be staying in?"


And watch out for the Polar Bears.
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Postby rpc » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:30 am

are you working this weekend?
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Postby TacoJockey » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:07 am

On the Durango-Silverton railroad, I was chatting with the woman next to me about how I'd been backpacking/climbing for three days in the Chicago Basin. She asked me, "Did you eat food while you were out there?"
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Postby Bob Sihler » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:22 am

JasonH wrote:
icypeak wrote:I once told someone that I was going to Antarctica and they asked me "Oh, what major city will you be staying in?"


And watch out for the Polar Bears.


And drunken elves. (You have to watch out for them here, too.)
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Postby Bob Sihler » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:25 am

"How much farther is it?" and "Are we close yet?"

The answer I want to give: "If you knew how to read a damn map or knew anything about a pace, you would know."

But I always give a courteous, accurate answer. Still, I do love when the answer is "You're not even close."

Sometimes when I'm feeling a little elitist: "Oh, I didn't go there. I went there." (pointing to the mountaintop)
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Postby Augie Medina » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:26 am

Asked more than once by persons going up a trail as I'm coming down: "WHERE DOES THIS TRAIL GO?"
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Postby nartreb » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:57 am

Hiker who rode the ski lift up: "Does this trail lead to the parking lot?"
Me: "Yes."
Sometimes I'll add "but not the one you parked at" while he's still in earshot. When I'm really feeling generous I'll point out the difference between "east" and "west" and how you can tell them apart on a sunny afternoon.
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