Rants: Do You Say Hi to People on Local Trails?

From ABAG to state public education budget cuts, Mill Valley residents have had plenty to complain about of late. What else has you ready to scream? One recent visitor ranted about locals' lack of friendliness on our trails. Does he have a point?

San Francisco resident Joe James didn't mince words. 

After a recent hike in our enclave, he encountered one too many people who didn't say hello on the trails. Here's what he had to say on Mill Valley Patch's Facebook page:

Dear Mill Valley,
Would it kill you to say "hello" or smile while passing someone on the local trails? In case you were raised on the East Coast, or are one of the narcissistic finance d-bags that are ruining Mill Valley, here is a lesson: It is common courtesy to say "hello" or just smile when you encounter someone on a trail. It is weird, anti-social behavior to just ignore them, and also can be creepy on remote trails. Please, people of Mill Valley, get over yourselves and say hello like a normal person.

So what do you think? Does Joe have a point?

And what has you ready to scream? Let's hear some rants. And if there's anything we can do to follow up on those rants, we'll get right on it.

Step up to the mic!

Kristi Denton Cohen April 28, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Why is Joe assuming the other people on the trails are only from Mill Valley? I smile when I see other hikers or bikers, but respect someone's privacy if they are deep in thought. I've done that, too. The mountain is good for both.
Suzanne April 28, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Some of us who were raised on the East Coast (if western New York counts; Buffalo is known as the "City of Good Neighbors") always smile at the people we meet, whether it be on the trail or walking down the street -- especially if there is eye contact. I do understand if someone is absorbed in their thoughts; walking is a good space in which to process...
Quoc Phan May 03, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Joe is spot on.
Uncle Fishbits May 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM
In Tiburon, at St. Hilary's Nature Preserve, not saying "hello" is a grave offense. It's unnatural. But my wife warns me to be less cheery when I visit her family on the East Coast... which is a good indication why we don't make a habit of being on the East Coast. If people are out on your trail, guess what... they're your people. Be nice, say howdy! =)
Michael Hanrahan May 04, 2012 at 01:26 AM
great post! I remember my first long hikes deep into the wilderness of Yosemite when I discovered "wilderness etiquette" when you leave all the fears and trepidations of urban life behind. You encounter other people on the trail, and not only do you say hello, but you stop and talk, compare trail experiences, laugh, connect. You could always tell when you got closer to the trailhead, that people would not always understand this etiquette. But there is something really special about sharing a deep wilderness experience, you gotta at least say "hello."


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