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[at-l] Trail Ambassadors

Last nite I met with some friends for what is usually a post hike 
pig-out at the local Colonel's KFC all-you-can-eat buffet (no hike
this year..you'd have to be 99% duck to enjoy hiking in the weather
we've been having lately).  I loaded up with cherry tomatoes and brocoli 
and drumsticks and thoses yummy tea rolls, grabbed a bunch of 'real 
lemon' for my salad and some 'fake butter' for the rolls and we all
began to mange.  Funny.. how, when I was done, I had used only one of 
the lemon packs on my salad and decided the rolls were so good that they 
didn't really need any butter.  What to do? Can't put them back....
throwing them away would be wastful.  I'll just stick them in my 
pocket...might come in handy some day.

 Yeah..right....wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that I always
keep a couple butter and lemon packs with the mini can of tuna and the 
minute rice in my bottom-of-the-pack-emergency-food-stash, could it?
I'm a theif...on some level, I knew darn well that I was taking more
than I needed and as I looked around I saw alot of 'extra' honey,jelly,
catsup etc. packets on my friends trays too! Turns out that catsup,
honey, lemon, terryaki and a pack of Taco Bell sauce make a passable 
sweet and sour hot sauce.
This whole scene got us to talking about ethics and the ambassador 
thread.....how hikers represent our community. Here's the jist of it:

We've been on the trail for 5 days and we are down to 1/2 cup of 
oatmeal.  We stink....our breathe stinks.....our clothes stink.....
we're grubby, dirty and our boots are caked with mud.

We roll into town, hit the store, spend as little as we can, and then
sprawl out front of the store to repack what we bought and stick the
store owner with the garbage.

Then we hit the closest all-you-can-eat buffet and_really_make up for 
the all those noodles in a bag. We laugh at the looks the locals give 
After all..'they' don't know what it's like....they're not doing a thru. 
So what if our combined stench ruins their dining experience. 

We keep the table long after we've finished our third go at the buffet. 
It just feels so good to sit on something other than the ground.  And 
before we leave we stock up on condiments for the trail.

Gee..I wonder why some merchants aren't glad to see hikers?

Just something to think about.....BTW anyone know a source where I
could actually buy those little packets?      Kahley
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