Help that never came

Ouch. This is sad. The NY Times:

She was a 66-year-old woman who wandered off the Appalachian Trail in the thick Maine evergreen forest and waited for nearly a month for help that never came.

“When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry,” Geraldine Largay wrote in her black journal, about two weeks after she got lost and set up camp on high ground, as hikers are trained to do. “It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead and where you found me — no matter how many years from now.”

Geraldine Largay at the Poplar Ridge Lean-to on the Appalachian Trail in Maine on July 22, 2013. This photo, taken by a hiker who crossed paths with Ms. Largay, is the last known image of her. CreditDottie Rust, via Maine Warden Service

They looked for her, but failed to find her.

Ms. Largay tried to text her husband to tell him she was lost. She got herself to high ground, perhaps hoping to be seen by an airborne searcher. And she kept a diary, in which she seemed to come to terms with the idea that she would not be found alive.

The file, which was first reported by The Boston Globe, is a detailed accounting of one of the biggest search operations in this state’s history that offers a glimpse of Ms. Largay’s monthlong fight for survival, and her calm preparation for the end. Rescuers have said they believe they came maddeningly close to Ms. Largay — perhaps as near as 100 yards — but, in Maine’s impermeable forests, even that distance might as well be miles away.

Sad sad sad.

I used to watch those Bear Grylls reality tv shows where he got dropped off somewhere remote with a knife and a camera crew, and used his survival training to get back to Notremoteland. I wish Geraldine Largay had made it out.

According to the case file, Ms. Largay knew she was lost the day before she was supposed to meet her husband. On July 22, she attempted to text him, but the message was never delivered, probably because of bad reception.

“In somm trouble,” read the message. “Got off trail to go to br. Now lost. Can u call AMC to c if a trail maintainer can help me. Somewhere north of woods road. Xox.”

The following day, she tried to text again.

“Lost since yesterday,” Ms. Largay wrote. “Off trail 3 or 4 miles. Call police for what to do pls. Xox.”

Her remains were found in October.

Be careful out there.

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