About once a month, I have a habit of jumping on Google and searching for stories about lost hikers. Sometimes a lost-hiker story has a happy ending. Sometimes it doesn’t. I do this to remind myself how easy it is to get in trouble while hiking if you go out unprepared, especially in the back country. These story-reminders keep me on my toes, keep me from getting lazy when it comes to packing the extra supplies I would need in case of an emergency, even on day hikes, and even when I’m hiking with a group.

A year or so back, I stumbled across a lost-hiker story that tore at my heart. It happened in 1998 to a solo hiker in the Wind-River Range of Wyoming and, unfortunately, this was one of those stories that did not end well. I’m not certain if PLBs were available for hikers back then — probably not — but if there was ever a story that makes you realize how a PLB could save your life if you have a mishap in the back country, this is most definitely one of those stories.

Not sure why I thought of this again today but figured it meant I should reread it and then put it on my blog. So I did.

It’s a long story. It’s heart wrenching. But it’s also a story about hanging on to the very end, coming to terms with your fate, wrestling with, then resolving, the spiritual dynamics of your dire situation, and then dying with dignity with love for your family and your beliefs wrapped warmly around your heart.

Trapped! The [Rev.] Mike Turner Story

 

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