Erin had been taunting us the entire four miles up the trail, and kept it up at the summit. "C'mon, you can do this!" She did some jumping jacks to make her point.
I unzipped my bag to get at the ziploc of raisins and walnuts. "We're doing what we can." At the sound of my voice, a woman in the next party over looked over for a second and looked away. I thought that I recognized her.
They hit the trail before we did. I mentioned to my party that I was pretty sure that I'd recognized one of my formerly regular bartenders on the rocky outcropping. Not a certainty, but a high probability.
On the hike down, we passed them, given our brisk pace. Erin shouted "On your left!" and we passed them. I was last, and they had all turned to see us. When I saw her I smiled and said "Hi!" as my right foot hit a root. I caught myself and didn't fall. She answered me.
It's not a bar I drink at much anymore. A wonderful spot to have Happy Hour when I worked in Belltown, but no longer quite as relevant. I do still go there on occasion.
What I really hope that this encounter says is "Yes, I'm no longer a barfly at your bar, and I really do have friends, and we do exciting and active things."