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bad news/good deed

Well I got some bad news yesterday.  My Dad called and said GrandMa died 
yesterday morning.  I tried to go to work, but couldn't really think in a
straight line.  So I went to KFC to eat lunch and to the Revco to pick up
some stuff.  While in Revco, I decided that I'd take a walk in the woods.
And since it's Thru hiker season where I live (in VA between Pearisburg and 
Troutville) I decided to take a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper with me to give to
any thruhikers I found.  So I went up to rte 42 and started to hike up Sinking
Creek Mountain, heading north.  I left 1/2 of the Dr Peppers along a fence with
a sign saying to take some and leave any trash you wanted to and I'd take it
home with me.  After about 10 minutes of nice field hiking I ran into Slider 
who was just finishing a short breather.  He was eccstatic to get a Dr. Pepper.
In fact, when I asked if he wanted one, "You bet I would!!!!" was the 
enthusiastic answer.  He asked if I was a trail maintainer while we sat and
enjoyed the afternoon.  (sunny and in the 50's)  I said no, that I was just
trying to get my mind off of Grandma.  He finished the Dr. Pepper and then
I walked with him 4 more miles in to Sarver's Cabin.  The Cabin is 1/4 of 
a mile off of the trail straight down.  Slider decided that he was going to
skip the Cabin and head on to Niday Shelter.  I gave him another Dr. Pepper
for supper and topped off his water for him (I was carrying a gallon and a
half for that purpose).  So I went down to the Cabin which I'd never been to
before.  It's not one cabin, but a homestead and there's actually 5-6 buildings.
It was a great campsite, but the buildings were too trashed to make me want
to spend the night in them.  So I spent an hour there resting and lazying 
about a cool clearing and then headed back to the trail.  About a mile back
towards the road, I ran into a couple thru hiking.  I forgot to get their
names.  They asked if I was the one who left the Dr. Pepper back at the road
when I pulled 2 out to give them.  They asked how many I had left and when
I only had 3, they said to hold on to the last 2 for October Dawn and Chamelon.
So I convinced them to take one for supper.  Then just about at the spot
where I met Slider, I came across 3 more.  The only one that I got a name for
was Buffalo.  He asked if I was a past thru hiker and I said no, I need to
pay some bills first so the crediters don't break the door down and threaten
the wife when I leave.  So he called me a friend of thru hikers.  :-)  There
were 3 of them and I only had 2 Dr. Peppers left so I didn't offer.  They
asked if I was the one who left them back at the road.  I said yes and they
thanked me heartily also.  (Boy thru hikers seem to like Dr. Pepper ;-)
I asked if they needed water, but it was only an easy mile back to the creek
so they were still full.  I never did see October Dawn and Chamelon before I
got to the car.  The couple that I'd met earlier had left a note on my note
thanking me for the Dr. Peppers.  Their names as it turned out was Cajun C and
Screaming Knees.  No one left any trash, but I was thanked for the offer.
Something about helping everyone I saw really made me feel better and I hope
I can concentrate today at work.

So every rain cloud does have a silver lining.  And I didn't find a touch
of grey either.  ;-)

S. Schuyler Stultz              Recognition Research Inc.
schuyler@rrinc.com              1872 Pratt Drive Suite 1200
(540) 231-6500                  Blacksburg, VA 24060