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Appalachian Trail Hiker Found Dead Two Years Later...

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  • #16
    I feel like there's something funny about this. THAT close? You can survive a long time without food.
    46er #9404
    Pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145945713@N02/
    http://www.athikerpictures.org/syste...jpg
    https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/

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    • #17
      I am so glad she was found. I remember watching this on the North woods Law show. Heartbreaking, but a relief to her family she has now made it home.

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      • #18
        One more magazine article on Geraldine Largay:
        http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/...m0K/story.html

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        • #19
          It's a crying shame what happened to her. The article makes her plight sound noble and courageous in the face of death. At the risk of sounding cold-blooded, it was also a needless death. It's the story of a person who hunkered down for 19 days, until her death, less than a kilometer uphill from a road (Railroad Road). Basically she walked uphill into the woods, became lost, pitched her tent, sent text messages, and waited for a rescue that never found her (while she was alive).

          I haven't read a single article indicating she attempted self-rescue (lighting a signal fire and hanging mylar from trees is passive self-rescue at best). Her mindset was fixed on being rescued.

          I also question this article's potential use of artistic license to describe Gerry's story. Here's one tiny excerpt from the Boston Globe:
          Gerry stood up in the dense underbrush and donned her pack. She looked around. She took a few steps in what she believed was the direction back to the trail. It didn’t feel quite right.
          So Kathryn Miles from the Boston Globe was with her when Gerry stood up and donned her pack and looked around? Did Kathryn ask Gerry if she felt things "didn't feel quite right" or did she interpret that from the expression on her face? If you're going to tell me they got this from Gerry's incredibly detailed diary, then they should just publish it and dispense with the reporting equivalent of a Hallmark channel reenactment.

          No, seriously:
          Late that Monday afternoon, she pitched her tent. It was a crummy site, but the best she could hope for that day.
          Really? She pitched her tent west of an old logging road. So maybe it wasn't the best she could hope for that day.


          Note the map scale. Gerry's final resting place is 800 meters north of Railroad Road and far less from the brook and logging road.


          It's an article engineered to tug at heart strings. It glosses over the fact this person was a 1-2 hour downhill walk (along a brook) from where she initially wandered off the trail. Likely the very same brook Gerry used to wash the pink shirt she received from her husband and maybe where she spent time reading her novel and practicing knot-tying with dental floss (not being sarcastic, it's all there in the article).

          At least another report didn't overlook to mention her grieving family was led to visit the site and then were surprised by the fact it took them less than an hour to descend to Railroad Road. Gerry's real story is tragic with a capital "T". It should be held up as an example of what a fit and uninjured backpacker with several days supplies should not do (certainly not past 4 days) and how important navigation skills are to survival. My heart goes out to her loved ones but this tragedy is being milked and for the wrong reasons.




          Looking for Views!

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          • #20
            I've said it before, this story doesn't feel right. Someone who hiked from Harper's Ferry to Redington, about 1000 miles, has that little woodcraft? I've met thruhikers who could tell you when it was going to rain within minutes just by the smell of the wind. In July, that section of AT is mobbed, you could probably hear hikers (since city-folk tend to shout) passing by, especially if stuck there over a weekend. I was a ridgerunner on that section a while back, it's a happening place. If she was that beloved (according to the Globe) and well known, no thru hiker would have thought twice about going back down the trail once they saw her frantic partner waiting/talking/asking people about her. Plus she knew she had just crossed Orbeton Stream, a beautiful rock hop that almost everyone rests at at least to get water coming down off Poplar Ridge (where the water source is terrible). SHE HAD TO HIT THE STREAM IF SHE SIMPLY WALKED DOWNHILL.

            I've been turned around more than once, but never for more than about 20 minutes, and there is a sense of panic that creeps in, I get it. Something else happened, bump on the head, something.
            46er #9404
            Pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145945713@N02/
            http://www.athikerpictures.org/syste...jpg
            https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/

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