Actual Conversations


The following are actual conversations I engaged in with visitors to the trail:


Driver of a car that’s just arrived: Where’s the parking lot?

Me: You’re in the parking lot.




Visitor: How far is [my destination] from here?

Me: One hundred miles and about three hours.

Visitor: Oh! So about three miles?




Visitor: Will we see a bear here?

Me: Probably not. You’re more likely to see a rattlesnake than a bear on the trail.




Young visitor exiting the trail: Do you remember where we parked?

Me: No. I don’t remember where you parked.

[I had never before seen these people; they’d parked in the overflow lot.]




Visitor standing in front of me: Do you have one of those self-guided things [meaning a trail guide]?

Me: No. I’m sorry. We ran out last Sunday.

Visitor: Really? [He acted as if I were lying to him.]

Me: Really. If I had any, I’d be happy to give you one.





Me to 20ish male visitor with longish hair, tattoos, and dark sunglasses: There’s a $5 parking fee.

Male visitor to me: What if we don’t have $5 cash?

Me: I hope you have tradeables.

Male visitor: [Silence]

Nervous female companion of male visitor: We have water…and…

Me: Go ahead and park, but next time you come to the mountains, bring some cash. What are you going to do if you have to bribe a cop?

Male visitor: We’re going to hope it doesn’t come to that.

Me: Have fun!

Male Visitor: How long will it take to walk the trail?

Me: That depends on how many trees you want to hug.

[The male visitor never showed a hint of a smile. Maybe he’s too cool to smile. Maybe I’m not as funny as I like to think I am.]




Me, as I hand a trail guide and a day pass to a visitor who’s just handed me a $20 bill: Here’s your day pass and a trail guide. You don’t need to take the day pass back to your car…

Visitor: So I need to put this [indicating the day pass] in the car?

Me: No. As I just said, you don’t need to take the pass back to your car. You will want to take the trail guide with you.

Visitor: And where do I get the trail guide?

Me: It’s in your hand.




Visitor: Those marks on the trees that look like they’re from fire? What are they from?

Me: Fire.




Passenger in a car that’s just entered the parking lot: What’s all the smoke from?

Me: Fire.




Me to a person on a bicycle stopped at the entrance to the trail: Excuse me. The trail is for walking only.

Person on bicycle [said roughly]: I’m just looking at the sign!

Me: I was just letting you know.

Person on bicycle [said roughly and dismissively]: You let me know! Thank you!



Visitor: Those are some pretty amazing trees.

Me: They sure are.

Visitor: God was on his toes when he made those.

Me: [Silence]



I took all of the photos in this post.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

2 Responses »

  1. Science has recently determined that the IQ of the human race is declining. Apparently, we’ve reached our peak and are sliding down the other side.

    They say that because the test scores are dropping. Now, I could believe that of the rest of the world, because they teach their kids how to read using phonics and they KNOW how to read, so the results are more likely to be accurate. America has been degrading its educational system for well over a hundred years (since a politician took over), and the stupidity rate is rising quickly. How can you get accurate IQ ratings when many of the people here are completely illiterate (can’t read at all) and functionally illiterate (can’t read a paragraph and tell you what the point of it is). Our educational system itself is acknowledged to be the most expensive in the world, AND the most ineffective.

    Of the 196 countries in the world, the top ten are Andorra, Finland, Greenland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway (all these with 100% literacy rate), Azerbaijan, Latvia, Cuba, Estonia, Georgia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Barbados, Armenia, Slovakia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan (all these last in the 99% range).

    I can’t find the list now, but if you lined up every single country in the world according to literacy, the once-great country of the the United States of America is……… tah da! Eighty-seventh from the top. That’s disgusting!

    I was trying to find the list that I found a few months ago, and ran across several reports that indicated that the U.S. has 90% literacy. And you KNOW that’s not true!

    America, Land of the Stupid.

  2. Having served the public for 20 years working for the county welfare department, I’ve heard a few dumb questions and answers myself. I was in a position in which I approved welfare payments–what always got me were sentences which started out telling me one thing and ended saying the exact opposite! They thought I was stupid enough to believe both ends?? Another favorite was when they started out saying “I could do your job. what to you have to do to get hired?” The answer was “have a two year degree—most of us had 4 year degrees, and I am one of those–and take a test and get a passing score.” Most of them shut up right about then. We would have happily hired more minorities because we were pretty light on minority staff, but it was hard to find QUALIFIED people who could do the job. Luckily we have an Indian reservation in our district because they made up at least half our minority staff.

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