I’m not going to bury the lead. My new Tinder bio will be “I enjoy travel, a nice dry red, and sneaking up on women in the forest.” Obviously, this is a joke. I like sweet rosés, not dry reds, but I was recently accused of being a solo man who sneaks up on women in the woods.
I’ve written about Bearwallow Mountain before. It’s a great, easy hike with 360° views located only a half hour outside of Asheville, so a perfect post-work hike. It’s also popular. That’s important to mention here. You’re seldom alone when walking to the top of Bearwallow. It’s also important I say that it’s not so much in the woods, as it passes through a forested area between a typically busy parking area and the top of the mountain, which doubles as a cow pasture. Am I giving a lot of caveats? Certainly, I don’t necessarily relish being accused of being a solo man who sneaks up on women in the forest.
For the bulk of this particular walk up Bearwallow, I followed a middle-aged couple, but they were far enough ahead for most of the hike that I couldn’t discern much about them. Once I got near the top, I heard the woman talking to her husband and noted that she sounded like my old manager, Cheri. As I got closer, I realized that from behind, at least, she seemed to have the same haircut and hair color as Cheri. While I’d never met Cheri’s husband, I’d seen enough photos to have the impression he was a tall man, and this woman’s husband was not. However, I do know that Cheri and her husband like hiking Bearwallow, and when I heard the woman address her husband as “Mike”—the name of Cheri’s husband, naturally—I figured it wouldn’t hurt to yell, “Cheri!” on the off chance it was her—I’d hate to go home and see she posted photos of Bearwallow to Instagram, and not have tried to make contact.
It turns out it did hurt this woman, who, spoiler alert, wasn’t Cheri.
The woman turned around, looked directly at me, and gave a true horror movie scream. Mind you, I was 10-20 feet back from her, it was daylight, her husband was right next to her, and there were several other groups on the trail, so she didn’t know I was yelling at her, especially because she wasn’t Cheri (although I guess she could’ve been a Cheri…or Sherry..or Sheri…we never exchanged pleasantries). She screamed a second time, just as cinematic and loud as the first, before beginning a tirade about me “being a solo man sneaking up on a woman in the woods.” Her husband smiled at me and said sorry with his eyes.
I texted Cheri the next day and told her how her doppelganger treated me. She responded, “Please change your Instagram info to ‘solo man sneaking up on women in the woods,’” which elicited a true LOL. I modified her work for Tinder. She also suggested wearing a Sasquatch costume next time I prey on unsuspecting female hikers, something I’m still mulling over.