Great subject, hikerbrian.

I am still enthused about hiking in the Whites, but it's not a long drive for me. I think I have a different hiking style than most and this is what allows me to ignore the overcrowding. I hike because I love to be alone in nature. It makes me feel human. I rarely hike with another person, and I never see other people where I hike. I never research much of anything about where I'm going. I usually hit an empty parking lot in the Whites at about 2:00 PM. I carry gear sufficient for an overnight. No cellphone. I hiked all the 4000' peaks in summer and winter before the Internet existed and I haven't been on a peak in a while. I think that's where the crowds are. I am pleased to have embraced redlining, 40 years after I started hiking, since it takes me into the kind of quiet woods I like. When I set foot on a trail, I hike as slowly as I can for the first half hour or so. Then, during the next half hour, I try to slow down and hike at half the speed of the first half hour. If someone hikes with me, they only do it once.