Almost like a kick in the pants.
Frank and Martha didn't expect to end up in Wyoming, but it happened anyway.
"We were only going for a quick swim, and then Bang! – there we were in Wyoming, but we didn't know that at first," said Frank Flort, of Lynchburg, VA.
"It sure was a surprise," chimed in Martha Mort, his hiking companion. "It's a miracle we lived, considering that we went from Virginia to Wyoming in twelve seconds, including re-entry. I didn't singe my butt, or get a rash or anything. Pretty lucky, I guess."
The day began innocently with the couple heading out for a hike on the famous Appalachian Trail, which is near where they live, but which they had never previously visited. They were expecting rain, and so had treated their clothes with a new product called NeverWet that supposedly keeps anything and everything from, well, getting wet.
And it worked. Too well.
"Hey, it was a bad winter. Lots of rain and snow. I was sick of it. I wasn't gonna let my summer get spoiled, so I bought some of this stuff down at the Home Depot," said Frank. "I asked Martha if she wanted to try it too, so we treated all our clothes with it."
"I slathered that stuff on everything," Martha added. "My boots, my shorts, my shirt – pack, water bottle, sunglasses – you name it. I even rubbed some in my hair. I had enough of the wet stuff last winter."
The morning they started their hike, intending to go only a few miles, the sky was indeed overcast, but in no time the clouds vanished and the temperature soared. Hiking became a chore in the heat.
"Yep. That's about when things got strange," recounted Martha. "Right about then. When we decided to go for a little swim."
"Tucker Pond," said Frank. "A nice little place. Really inviting, and the heat was killing us, so we jumped in, and then there was Wyoming all of a sudden. Good thing we were holding hands or we'd have ended up on different continents."
"Crazy," added Martha. "Who'd think anything like that could happen? This waterproofing stuff hates water so much we just bounced off the pond and nearly clipped an airplane. People were snapping pictures from inside – we could see them. Then we splashed into this little tiny lake in the Rocky Mountains. Good thing our clothes were shredded by then or we might have ricocheted into the Pacific."
Another lucky break was a dozen or so helpful deputies investigating reports of a large grizzly bear in the area.
"That turned out to be Crazy Ed wandering around in his overcoat again, but you never know until you check," said Sheriff Jeremiah Johnson.
"But about then we got a bunch of calls about naked people falling from the sky. That's rare in Park County, Wyoming. Maybe you see that out east, but around here people keep their clothes on, so we had to follow up, and then there they were," the sheriff added. "Then Ed comes over for a look and gets excited and starts shooting off flares, so then people flood in from miles around to see what the fuss is all about."
"And then the funniest thing," said Martha. "Someone starts handing around sandwiches, and someone else pulls a birthday cake out of somewhere, and then a minister comes over and offers us counseling, but we just decided to get married instead."
"Right," said Frank. "We figured we might not have another chance, so we did it right then – you know – seize the moment. So here we are. We might stay. We just might," he said, smiling at his bride.
"Could be worse," said Martha. "And Ed gave us a bucket of honey as a wedding present. He's really kind of a sweet guy, you know? I think we could be happy here."
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