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[pct-l] It's a small world

  I just returned from a kayak trip down a river which flows into the Yukon
River north of Fairbanks.  In order to leave my truck where we would exit the
river, I drove to near the end of the Steese Highway, where the BLM had a brand
new parking lot at the takeout.  There was an older couple there, exploring the
area and I noticed the gentleman holding a gold pan, which was not unusual as
this country has a vast history of gold strikes as well as current activity. 
He was very talkative, and offered that they were here in Alaska visiting their
adult children, that they lived in Washington.  He said that he had 3 cabins
near the Canadian border (which turned on a light in my head) so I asked if he
was near Manning Park or the Pasayten Wilderness.  Well, according to him, all
3 of his cabins are right next to the Pacific Crest Trail, 1 of them can be
seen from Rock Pass or Rock Peak, and that the cabins were used all the time by
people hiking the trail, especially in inclement weather.  He was very happy
that they were being used in this manner, and noted that several times hikers
had left a $5 bill and a note of thanks (the money to cover food that they had
eaten from his cupboards).  He also enjoys hiking the PCT himself when he is
there prospecting and had nothing but praise for the existence of the trail,
quality of the country and friendliness of the hikers.  Since I too often judge
people from their "covers" (his that of a miner), it was a pleasant experience
for me to find someone who belongs in both catagories, who seemed to be
successfully a part of each world and to take the whole view in, not that of an
extremist after his own world vision.  So if anyone out there spends a night in
one of his cabins or has spent a night, feel free to express your thanks to him
and know that you've got a friend out there, a Trail Angel from an unusual

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