Peace is Possible – even on the Trails of Marin County
I live in “peaceful, politically correct, Marin County”. However after reading the comment section of this article in the Marin IJ, I started to doubt that Marin County is actually a peaceful place. The name calling and mean spirited comments coming from all sides of the trail use debate disappointed me. Marin is known for being a peace loving place but sometimes I wonder if it is all just talk. Because many of those “peace loving” people become mean, entitled and rude when they are on the trails. I believe in full transparency so before I go on I will tell you my belief on trail use. I believe in multi-use trails. I believe the open space should be open to (polite and respectful) hikers, runners, dog walkers, mountain bikers and equestrians. I believe we can all co-exist peacefully and respectfully. I’ve seen it in other states and other countries so I know it is possible. For some reason, here in Marin County people do not always want to share the trails. Hikers and equestrians don’t like bikers, bikers don’t like equestrians, bikers and hikers don’t like walking through horse poop, equestrians don’t like dogs, walkers with their dogs on leash get annoyed with the dogs off leash, the list goes on in every possible direction. The trails of Marin County are not always peaceful. People can be down right mean and unpleasant. And when I say people I mean all people on the trails (hikers, bikers, dog walkers, equestrians, runners, etc). But, this blog is not a place for negative trail politics. The reason I am writing this post is to tell you about the fabulous experience I had on the trails today!
As I was walking across a single track trail today with my dog, a woman on a mountain bike was riding toward us. When she saw us she got off her bike and stepped to the side so there was room for Poncho and I to walk by. She said good morning to me and hello to my dog. I told her to enjoy this beautiful day, she said likewise and rode off her way and I continued walking my way. Then when I was on the fire road we came upon a neighbor with her dog off leash and we started walking peacefully with her. When we came around a curve we were surprised to happen upon an equestrian. Before we could do anything our dogs and her horse were already face to face. Well face (dog) to knee (horse). My heart starting racing (because of previous experiences with equestrians not being very nice to me and Poncho) when the woman said good morning and said hello to our dogs telling them they were nice doggies. She told us to have a great walk and continued on her way and we continued on our way. After that we got passed by a few runners that said good morning to our dogs and kept on their merry way. Poncho then pooped, I scooped it up and deposited it in the nearest trash can as we headed home. It was a wonderfully beautiful peaceful day on the trails of Marin. I believe everyday can be this way if each person takes responsibility for the energy they put out. It was wonderful to witness the hikers, bikers, equestrians and dog walkers all coexisting and sharing our wonderful trails peacefully.
“Can’t we all just get along?” – Rodney King
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