Twenty-seven people showed up for my Sierra Club hike today. That is just too many people. The range of abilities is too wide. The expectations among people are too different. And that's just simply way too many cellphone calls. I hate cellphones.
It turned out okay. The hike was a short one with a long drive. You'd think that would eliminate people but it didn't. With such a large group, I expected it to naturally split into two groups, a group that would want to do a real hike and another group full of beginners who would poop out. And that's what happened.
Being the leader, the one who has to be responsible, my job was to hang with the beginners because that's the most annoying job. I let The Man take all the real hikers further up the trail for a real hike. I stayed back with the beginners and poseurs, herding them to the advertised goal and then trying to manage expectations when they wanted to go home early even though not everyone they carpooled with were present. A group of 4 said they had their whole group with them and wanted to leave early so I said go ahead. Then they proceeded to call me several times to ask where everyone was because they were waiting for two people who had ridden up in their car with them. I hate cellphones. What a way to ruin a hike to have demanding people calling me for status reports every 10 minutes.
Anyway, everyone managed to get the hike they wanted and nobody was lost, so it was a success. I brought home some wild mustard and hopefully I'll get a chance to cook it up and see how it tastes.