Hiking for Idiots

Last week I took an easy hike to Lake Sylvan. I picked it because it was an overcast day and I wasn’t feeling super and thought a nice, level, easy forest walk of about 90 minutes sounded about my speed.

The trails here in New Zealand have been pretty good so far in terms of markers, though like every other country I’ve hiked, invariably you get to a spot where there seem to be three different paths forward and none are marked… or you’ll find a string of markers close together along an obvious path that no one would need help finding.

I was thinking about how there’s never a marker when you really really need one (not just in New Zealand… it’s happened to me on four other continents, after all) when I saw it… the mother of all trail markers.

In a really obvious place where the trail took a sharp right (I mean, it was superobvious… a fallen tree had been sawed apart to clear it from the rutted, well-trod path), there was an arrow the size of my head.

I would love to know the backstory about it… were they trying to use up the orange plastic they cut the markers from? Was someone being cheeky? Or did someone actually get lost at the spot, prompting rangers to put up an arrow that all but shouted HEY DUMBASS, THE TRAIL IS THIS WAY!


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