Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hiker dies on Appalachian Trail

Hey folks,

Some sad news up here in Maine... a hiker died yesterday on the Appalachian Trail. I don't have a lot of details, other than the following... suspected cause of death is head injury, caused by falling and striking head on a rock. Hiker was probably from New York. He was apparantly hiking solo, and was found by a couple of other hikers, about a mile off of the Long Falls Dam Road, on the stretch of trail near Flagstaff Lake, leading towards the Bigelow Range.

Whenever I have a lumber delivery up that way (not often enough), I make it a point to stop on Long Falls Dam Road at the Trail crossing, if only for a few minutes. It is the "unofficial" 2000 mile mark for all of the NOBO (Northbound) Thruhikers, and is thus marked, in the center of the road. I am always in hope of spotting a hiker or two, have a brief chat and offer up encouragement and a cold drink.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to have an early morning delivery up to Spring Lake... At the Trail crossing, I stopped for a couple of minutes, and looked up and down trail. I saw nobody. On my return trip, I once again made a quick stop. This time I stepped out onto the Trail. I didn't venture very far, as I only had a couple of minutes of "break time" left before I needed to get back on the work clock. I again saw no one. I did, however, think that I was out of shape, and certainly not used to navigating such rooty, rocky, mucky, slippery terrain... I considered that I would be in a fine mess if I should take a tumble...

The timing of my stop happened to be just about the same time that the hiker was found, and a 911 call went out... I believe I may have missed meeting him by such a short time...

I would ask you all to take a moment to offer up a bit of prayer. I am sure this will be shocking news and difficult times for the hikers' friends and family. Also, for the hikers who came upon him... I am sure this was a stressful situation for them.

For all of you out hiking, please be extra careful around the rocks, roots, and mud, especially if you are alone. In 2007, when I was out on the A.T., I sometimes found myself stumbling 10 or 12 times a day... and I thought I was doing great!

Pray you are all well... God Bless!


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