Because I have a Commercial Use Authorization for guiding in the park, I cannot carry a concealed weapon. Even though, more likely than not, I'll be in the backcountry, and as my luck goes, will need the dang thing. I don't carry now as I don't wish to be caught in violation and loose my permit. I wish that the park service would allow us to carry a concealed weapon like everyone else.
A couple of times I wish I would have had a weapon, I would have felt better about the situation.
Most recently was a few years back on Deep Creek. I'm sure you guys recall Gary Hilton. Apparantly he stayed on Deep Creek for a few weeks. At the time no one knew there was a guy like this running around. I was guiding a woman and her two teenage kids and this creepy fellow kept watching us fish, no big deal, people do that all the time, but this guy was way different. We would move, and he would move along with us, just kept staring down the lady and her daughter. He would holler out questions from across the creek at us from time to time, I answered the first couple of them, but after he started staring at them I didn't. Some folks you just know are bad news, and this guy reeked of it. I insisted that we move to a different location all together, and the lady agreed. Once back to the vehicle, she said he was giving her the creeps. I told her I thought he was a bit strange too.
Many months later I was watching the news about a fellow the authorites had caught who was a suspected serial killer, and had killed several people in the backcountry. When they showed him on the news, it was that same creepy guy from Deep Creek.
My folks taught me not to fear any man, and I don't, but to be leery of every man. I've always been told when you gut is telling you something to listen to it, it's not really your gut, its the good lord talking to you. My gut was giving me pretty good tug that day.
After the news broke on Hilton getting caught, and pictures of him all over the news, reports of encounter with him started popping up everywhere from all over the place.
My wifes dad had him hanging around their church in Franklin and at one point the church gave him some money. After a few days of him hanging around and living in the church parking lot and creeping people out, Shannon's dad and his brother confronted him and ran him off.
You never know who is lurking around out there.
I may not be allowed to carry a gun in the park right now, but I bet you I have the next best thing.