Every morning my dog and I take a long walk on the Creeper Trail. The Creeper is one of the many things I love about Abingdon. It’s a great place to walk and enjoy the beauty of our gorgeous area. We generally go early before 8AM to avoid others and before the heat of the day becomes oppressive. At that time of the morning traffic is usually light on the trail and to and from the trail. (I live less than a block from the trail entrance so we walk.)
This morning I counted FOUR people on their cell phones! I wanted to say, “You’re on the Creeper! Put your phone away!” For one thing, it is DANGEROUS. We get bikers on the trail frequently. I’m sorry to say that most I’ve encountered do NOT signal when passing, though trail rules (clearly posted at the head of the trail) state that they must do so. I’ve almost been hit several times though no fault of my own. My dog and I walk well to the right; she is on a VERY close lead (not a free-ranging retractable lead like some dogs I’ve encountered); I try to be alert to my surroundings. But bikers are quiet and sometimes going extremely fast. If you don’t hear them, then you get no warning. So a walker paying attention to his phone in the middle of trail (and it is narrow in places) could be toast.
For another thing, and this is purely a personal opinion, YOU ARE ON THE CREEPER, for fuck’s sake. If you want just a place to get your exercise, there is a macadamized track at the Coome’s Center. Put the phone away for the duration of your walk. Take time to disengage. Look at the trees, fields, and squirrels. Smell the different aromas of the trail (this morning was distinctly musky). Greet your fellow trail denizens. BREATHE……and remember that there is a life beyond the electronic world. (And I say that despite my love of the internet.)