Strangers are friends you have yet to meet.
On my way to the summit of Unaka Mountain, I ran into this group of hikers from Pekin, Illinois. Pekin is just over the Illinois River from Bartonville where my grandparents lived for sixty years and where my mom grew up. We got to talking and realized that the fellow in the Cubs hat worked with my first cousin Rob for a time. Funny to run into strangers in the middle of nowhere on a rainy day and find a connection! They came to east Tennessee for a week to go white water rafting on the Nolichucky and to hike from Carver's Gap on Roan Mountain to Indian Grave Gap on Unaka Mountain. In spite of the rain, I hope they had a great trip. And who knows, maybe we'll meet again someday.
I had a similar experience on Unaka a few months ago when I met a couple of through-hikers, and found out we had a common friend from Ohio between us. It's a small, small world.