Skip to comments.‘When you find my body, please call my husband,’ wrote dying hiker lost along the Appalachian Trail
Posted on 05/26/2016 1:18:25 PM PDT by DUMBGRUNT
Geraldine Largay knew she was doomed.
It had been two weeks since she left the Appalachian Trail to go to the bathroom and lost her way; two weeks since she had wandered deeper and deeper into the woods of northwest Maine in search of a cellphone signal to message for help; two weeks since she had pitched her tent underneath a copse of hemlock trees atop a ridge; two weeks since she was supposed to meet her husband, waiting for her in his SUV on Route 27.
Largays food was running low. Her water, too.
So the 66-year-old retired nurse sat down and wrote a note to whoever might find her after she was dead.
When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry,
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I have heard that Maine is one of the most difficult portions of the Appalachian Trail. It’s a fascinating trail although I’ll never do it!
If she’d had a compass and the most minimal knowledge of how to use it she would have had no trouble getting back to the trail. Far too many people get out in the woods without the most elementary knowledge or training. She died less than 2 miles from the AT because she was disoriented and could not follow a simple direction back toward the trail. How sad....
“The report also includes agonizing information on Largays desperate attempts to contact her husband, who was waiting for her just a few miles away when she got lost. It acknowledges that rescuers came within 100 yards of her location on several occasions, only to miss her.”
Did she not keep a fire lit?
An interesting quote from Keller. A rebel when she was born, she tried to get away from her beloved teacher and mother to marry but was thwarted in that desire in a most poignant episode. Once her ‘teacher’ was dead, Helen took up drinking Martinis and smoking and dancing!
I know she was a Wobbly but I blame Anne Sullivan’s husband for misleading her very naïve self.
Sad. But really how far off trail do you have to go to tinkle to get lost?
If it was that thick I wouldn’t think too far. And if it wasn’t thick seems like you could retrace yourself. I don’t know, just sad.
There is a reason to call it WILDERNESS, it is ‘in the wild’! Naive tourists on their own without the proper tools risk not only themselves but endanger others sent to look for them. Just last week there was the report of a hiker killed by a black bear after his group scattered.
For me to do the same thing as this unfortunate woman, I’d have my GPS, solar recharger and that inexpensive MARSAT rescue beacon. Not to mention any number of the wilderness survival guides.
Sympathy to her and her family BUT her life was not wasted if she can be a good example of how NOT TO DO IT!
Embarrassingly, I only know the trail from Bryson’s wonderful book A Walk in the Woods and reading trail blogs - which are quite interesting. If you’re so desperate for a tinkle, just squat in the woods. That’s what it’s there for!
Well, she's a girl....
(Flame-retardant suit on)
I know that area very well. The woods and terrain are a bit rugged but all she needed was a compass and the most elementary knowledge to get back to the trail.
The problem is that tons of people think they can always do just a “paint-by-numbers” approach to following the little white trail blazes on the trees along the AT. That works so long as you don’t leave the trail, but as this lady discovered, wander even a couple of hundred yards away and you may be in big trouble.
No one should go on these trips, especially alone, without taking the trouble to acquire some simple basic knowledge. She paid for her lack of knowledge with her life.
A real smoky fire with green wood and leaves thrown-on would have no doubt saved her.
I was thinking the same thing...azimuth...pace count...back azimuth.
I will refrain from making disparaging comments about the dumb things city people (even those who think they are experienced) do when they get lost in the mountains.
Sounds like she was really a nice lady, prayers to the family.
Interesting. Have you done it? I enjoy being an armchair traveler when it comes to the Trail.
A 66 year old woman should know better as should her husband. Weirdly, I had an idea it was her exotic version of suicide.
In a Walk in the Woods, people carried flares.
a simple old style compass was all she needed to save her own life.....
How very sad-that poor woman-I’ve hiked in my state most of my life-I hike in the woods and by the river in the rural area I live in, and there are lots of neighbors who also hike-I never, ever hike alone if I’m going to be out of easy reach of homes and people-to do so is dangerous beyond understanding-as well as getting lost, there are predators in any forest...
Anybody hiking alone should have a personal locator beacon. Even groups of people, why not?
What, she saw a public bathroom, walked towards it, and somehow got lost?
I know, I know... Bad newspaper writing!
Hikers should consider carrying radios with 30+ mile range where there are no cell signals.
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