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[at-l] ITINERARY/SAFETY -- Franklin, Kushmans

> Rachel,
> . . .   TEXT DELETED   . . .  I was in Franklin, NC, in a restaurant
> with about 20 other hikers, including the Kushmans.  Around the time we
> were ordering dessert, a distinguished looking fellow walks up to our group
> asks for Download & Nexmo.  He was a professor from some SC college, and he
> came out to NC, because of the Kushmans exposure on the net.  I think he
> even bought their meal for them, but I'm not positive on that one.  

> . . .   TEXT DELETED  . . .
>                 Kurt
>                 kurt.kirsch@internetmci.com

Kurt..  and others,

I am the fellow of whom you speak.  Though your facts are not exactly accurate,
the gist of your message is basically correct.  I do not advocate posting exact
hiking itenarary on the web/mailint list for anyone.  Even with variance in
departure dates, mileage hiked, etc., it is just more information than most
people have a need to know about you. 
For the record, I am a Computer Analyst Specialist (means no one knows exactly 
what I do and neither do I) at Western Carloina University in Cullowhee, NC 
about 25 miles from Franklin.  I did not buy the Kushmans' meals but would 
have bought anyone's meal who was in need.  I hiked all of the AT over a
period of 6 years.  That being one of life's great experiences for me - I can 
never repay all the kindnesses received and lessons learned while in the 
pursuit of Katahdin, but I can try.  As I said in my journal while doing the 
100-mile wilderness, "I hiked the first 2000 miles of the AT for myself and 
the last 135 for my wife, family, and friends."
My wife and I have been providing 'Trail Magic' opportunities since early 1982
when we first met one of those AT legends whose character and love for the AT
strongly influenced us and gave redirection to our lives.  The man was Albie
Pokrob.  Known to ATC and ALDHA members simply as Albie.  This gentle person 
gave us, in a few hours,  more insight and information about the AT, the hiking 
community, and love of living life with zeal and enthusiastic awe than one ever 
has a right to expect.  Over the years we have remained in contact as he has
traveled to Nepal, China, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pole and other 
exotic places around the globe. Albie was there at a time in our lives when we 
needed  'Trail Magic'.  Without talking much, he said a great deal that spoke 
to our hearts.  I don't think I have ever told Albie how much he has meant to 
us over the years, but I promise to do so soon.  I don't know what would have
happened had we NOT stopped and given Albie a ride to the AT to meet some
of his friends so he could share with them some of his knowledge of 
thru-hiking.  I know that I am glad we DID stop.  There have been other Albies 
in our lives and I am thankful for them all.  Thank you to ALL 'Trail Angels', 
whereever you are.  

While I don't believe that I dispensed any particular 'trail magic' that night
in Franklin, I was providing the opportunity for it, should it be needed.  It
is in giving that we receive the most.

John Newman, aka: Oliver Twist
Support the ATC.  It needs your help.
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