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[ft-l] Practical Joke

A well-known visiting long-distance hiker was at our table last night.  He shall remain nameless, but told this story about himself.

A while back he was section hiking in Pennsylvania among the endless PA rocks.  As he approached a shelter he met another hiker he knew who was heading away from the area of the shelter.  His friend told him there was "fresh meat" in the shelter ahead--a family so new to hiking that their tent and stove were still in the original box.

As he approached the shelter (but still out of sight), our hiker stopped and picked up four 2-3 lb. rocks and put them in his pack.  At the shelter he greeted the novice family, casually telling him he was a thru-hiker who had come all the way from Springer. He answered the usual questions folks ask thru-hikers.  He then proceeded to set up his tent.  

After the tent was up, he reached in his pack and took out the four rocks.  He told the family that tents were prone to blowing away in high winds, so he had picked up the four rocks on Springer and used them to anchor the four corners of his tent.  He carefully placed the rocks  at every corner inside the tent.  He spent the night with the rocks in his tent.

In the morning, with the family watching, he made a point of nestling the "Springer" rocks inside his pack and smilingly trudged off.

He still wonders whether that family now camps with rocks in their tent or whether they think thru-hikers are totally nuts.

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