Wednesday, April 8, 2015

On The Kindness Of Strangers Who Are Clearly A LONG Way from Home

The minivan was parked by the side of the road with its hazard lights blinking and I was sitting on the guardrail near it, phone in hand, when the car pulled up next to me.  The first thing I noticed was the Oregon plates, which are (to put it mildly) not often seen in my neck of the woods.  A man stuck his head out the driver's side window and asked if I was okay, which startled me, since I was very much okay and it hadn't occurred to me until that moment that I looked like a damsel in distress!  The man very kindly said that if it was his wife, he'd want somebody to make sure that she was okay in my situation, then drove off.

As it happens, I was sitting on the guardrail because I had just found a geocache magnetically attached to the back of it (using the GPS receiver in the phone) and was in the process of signing the log.  A friend and I were doing what's called a power trail, which is a series of caches placed close together for easy finding, in this case all along one road about 600 feet apart.  Since power trails often require a lot of hopping in and out of the car, usually one person drives and the other does the hopping; my friend was still in the minivan and had just pulled over to the side of the road so I could grab the cache for us.  Things were not at all what they seemed, in other words, but I can still be grateful for the thoughtfulness of 'left coasters' who were concerned when they saw a woman sitting by the side of the road.  Apparently chivalry is not dead!

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