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[at-l] Showdown at Overmountain barn

        Just spent a great weekend in the Roan Highlands and thought you all
would be interested in this almost, but not really account... Took my niece,
Sharla and her husband, Matt, for a weekend in one of my favorite sections.
Yes, I was one of those darned weekenders. We headed north out of Carver's
Gap and were having a fine time. The only problem was a slight rubbing in my
toes making me wish I had some of that lamb's wool as suggested on the list.
I thought maybe somebody at one of the shelters would have some... Got to
Roan Highlands Shelter but nobody was home. Couple of miles later we were at
Overmountain Shelter. From a distance I could hear the raucous cries of thru
hikers, a honky tonk piano, dancing girls, and bleating sheep. "This shows
promise", I said, "but you better wait here. There may be trouble." As I
walked into the barn thru hikers were tending their stoves, some guy in a
kilt was on stage with the dancers, and a few section hikers were in the
corner with the sheep, trying to look inconspicuous. I did notice a tow
headed section hiker boy slip out the back. Suddenly, the room got quiet.
They had noticed by my sickly clean smell that I had not been on the trail
long. I walked up to the bar and in a shaky voice said, "Lambs wool". The
bartender only sneered and said, "We don't serve your kind here". My protest
that I was a section hiker was only met with harsh laughter. The thru hikers
surrounded me, one of them was fashioning a noose from a closeline. I
thought I was a goner until through the door burst a section hiker posse!
The section hiker boy had gone for help! They cried, "Let him be! Can't you
tell he's a section hiker? He's one of us!" You could tell the thru hikers
didn't like it, but they were slightly outnumbered. Still, the bloodlust
remained in their eyes. This could have gone either way. A commotion broke
out in the back. Sharla and Matt! They had been discovered and were dragged
into the middle of the room. The biggest thru hiker said, "Weekenders! Look
at all that cotton they're wearing! String 'em up!" Sharla gave me a look
that I can only hope meant "Save yourself!" In the excitement that followed
all I could do was grab my lamb's wool and fade into the shadows. The next
day was beautiful on the balds and I mostly forgot the previous day's
unpleasantness. And the lamb's wool worked great. Thanks for the tip, AT-L!
Now, if I can only figure out what to say to my sister...

                                             Lucky Star

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