Race Against Death in Autumn Rain

This is a true story that I decided to post following my Dress Right For Winter blog. article.

Many years ago I found myself hiking in the autumn outside of World’s End State park in Pennsylvania. It was one of my favorite regions of the state, and held one of my most favorite trails in Pennsylvania. The Loyalsock Trail is its name. Traversing about 59 miles through north-central Pennsylvania it, for the most part, is laid out along the Loyalsock Creek through rugged country. It begins, or ends at the World’s End State park and travels 59 miles across the Appalachians, high ridges and deep canyons between Loyalsock and Muncy Creeks.

Lawi-saquick is actually where the name of the trail and creek came from. It is an old Native Towanda word meaning “middle creek”. The area is prone to extreme weather shifts, steep muddy and heavily vegetated slopes, knee deep fern flats, breathtaking vistas, waterfalls, cold rushing waters, deep soaking pools and trickling rust red cedar streams. Black bears and Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey and White Tail Deer, Red Fox and Bobcat; large varieties of rodents, snakes, amphibians and birds populate the remote woodlands. Many areas of the trail, at least back then, were lightly used and so navigating the Stinging Nettle patches could be tricky. I recall numerous times hiking that trail and passing maybe half dozen people in almost 60 miles. Of course today, years later and with the overpopulation and masses of people flocking to natural areas, the trail is probably crowded.

If you were hiking during the spring you might find a wild azalea, in full fiery bloom, or perhaps a bit later you would be greeted by the purity of the white with light pink stripes of the mountain laurels. If you were really lucky, you might come across the rare beauty called the Lady’s Slipper with its magnificent bloom.

Since the mountains in that area of Pennsylvania are positioned northeast to southwest at an angle, and the trail primarily travels north-south, the journey takes many ascents and descents of the steep mountainsides. Actually, it’s much like the old logging roads in that area of the state- up and down, winding and slow.

I used to backpack the Loyalsock every year in different seasons. Some of the areas were quite remote and very wild. It certainly did not take long to get into the backcountry. Typically the World’s End State park was more heavily used than the rest of the trail, simply because it was easy to get to. The trail there starts out steeply and winds upward very fast to reward short distance hikers with a beautiful vista that is not too far. Beyond that point however, only the deep woods hikers trekked.

World’s End is quite a beauty in itself. Nestled in the mountains it hosts an incredible “whirlpool” where the river flushes into a very large natural rock cauldron and swirls about. At times it is quite frothy with amazing power. Not too far away is a perfectly cute quintessential town/village called Eagle’s Mere, where they used to have an amazing hand built ice toboggan that sped down a barren hill out onto the lake they carved the ice blocks from. Great fun. Perhaps its still there? It was many years ago…

On this particular trek I was starting at World’s End in the autumn, and it was quite cool and damp. I had my pack loaded and headed out to climb steeply upward out of the circular mountain nook aptly named “World’s End”. For many folk the weather was not really “ideal” for backpacking with the mud and cold, gray climate, but I was not your typical folk. I loved any weather, was trained for it and alway well equipped.

Once I reached the ridge, I continued onward across the high flat expanse, and then started descending into the deep gorge carved by the waters over millions of years. That first drop is where you truly felt as though you disappeared from the world of the modern day and into the past, a time long, long ago. It was steep and it was muddy and it was slick. I could see my breath partly because of the chill, and partly because of the high humidity levels of the gray mist all around. The air temperatures hung around 45 degrees and would certainly drop into the 30’s by night. It would be one of those long chilly wet, wet nights. No matter, I would have a dry place and a nice fire and a stomach full of hot stew.

The rest of the day was the same type of weather. The only difference was that I was going deeper and deeper into the full experience of the Loyalsock and loving every breath, every step, sound, smell and feel. Around midday I stopped and made a small fire to eat some food by. The fire took the chill off after hiking and getting wet all morning in the cold and heavy mist. Dense fog pockets crept up and stole the view more than about 15 feet all around me. The nice thing about hiking in such weather is that you sure do not see many folk on the trails that far back. The last person I saw was the day before just after noon heading north. I was on my way south.

I was eating some pemmican and drinking some hot tea when I felt someone coming from the north. About 15 minutes later sure enough, a young woman came hiking around the bend with a full pack. She did not look so well. She was soaking wet, appeared very tired and listless and her face was rather gray like the dreary sky shrouded in the mist above. She paused nearby and we acknowledged each other. I said she should take a rest and warm up by the fire; maybe eat something and have some hot tea. She said she was fine and should probably move on. Well to me she sure did not look fine.

I replied, “It’s no trouble at all. Sit by the fire and get warm. You look tired and cold, take a rest.” She would have nothing to do with it. Before she headed down trail I asked if she was with a party that might have been ahead of or behind her. She told me she was meeting her friend at the next dirt road and then took off to the south. Well, I knew the next dirt road crossing was not for another 10 miles across rough country, and she sure would not be getting there until the next day. I certainly could not force her to take a break, but I hoped that she would stop soon and get warmed up.

An hour later I buried my small fire, packed up and started my way south again for the afternoon. I think it was about two hours later I came across that girls backpack lying on the side of the trail, but she was nowhere to be seen. Next to the pack was a roughed up spot of earth and spent matches where it appeared someone had tried to make a fire without success. I figured maybe she had to find a tree so to speak, but her tracks continued south on the trail. I paused and listened, nothing but the sound of a light rain. I wandered about 100 yards before finding some clothes. It was her jacket and a cotton sweatshirt just lumped up in the mud. Her tracks also left the trail and headed west through the deep ferns. Another 80 feet or so I found a hiking boot; just one and nothing else. Her tracks continued on with one boot and one stocking foot. Hmmm…

I quickly backtracked and started gathering the pack and the soggy clothing and returned to pick up the boot. From there I began once again following the girls tracks deeper into the forest.

It was no question that this girl was in trouble. From her looks when we spoke hours before to her tracks of scrabbling about trying to get a fire going in the rain, leaving her backpack alongside the trail, shedding wet layers of clothing and aimlessly discarding them, she was in trouble alright.

After picking up one of her hiking boots, I continued following her lopsided tracks through the deep sopping wet ferns. They wound and staggered to a fro, tripping over the smallest depression in the muddy earth. It was not long before I found a large matted down section of vegetation and deep dents in the mud from where she had fallen. The tracks clearly showed she crawled for about 20 feet before getting back to her feet. However, in the process, she managed to leave behind her other boot and two shirts (cotton). One was torn as if she had ripped it off her body.

The trail of her tracks then told of her panic as her footfalls took off in a run; a blind run nonetheless as she seemingly crashed through the now thick mountain laurel stand, like a spooked deer. Broken twigs accompanied the frightened run. I followed on.

The rain was coming down a bit heavier and the temperature was dropping as the afternoon wore on. The dreary day grew darker with the ever thickening nimbus cloud cover. I had to pick up my pace and find this girl before it was too late. I began to trot bearing the weight of my pack and her soaked gear I had been retrieving. It certainly was not like her trail was hard to follow. It was kind of like following a spooked pig trail as it crashed blindly through the mud and brush.

The promising thing was that she was still moving. Yes, this made it more difficult to reach her, but at least she was subconsciously trying to keep her body heat generating. The downside was that if she kept her pace up, she would quickly exhaust her energy reserves, and when she did stop she would succumb to the damp chill quickly. Time and the elements were against her and me. After about two thirds of a mile, I began to hunt her more intensely and quickened my pace.

Down an incline and then rising sharply to a shale rock flat, I saw something ahead in the brown dead fern stand. It was a body. I moved closer, slowly so as not to spook her. In short time I stood 20 feet from her. She had apparently collapsed, but not before she stripped off every last shred of clothing from her gray body. I estimated her age to be about 20, height around 5 foot 6 inches and weight not more than 110 pounds. This information just made the situation worse because she had no body fat and thus no extra reserves of stored energy. Unconscious, she lay motionless, naked and exposed to the brutal elements stealing the life force from her very core.

I took off my pack and slid up next to the girl. I checked her breathing and it was shallow and sporadic. Her pulse was dangerously low. She was cold and clammy to the touch, which was expected of anybody lying naked in the environmental conditions we were in. I noticed a green tattoo of a shamrock on her left hip. I certainly hoped her Irish luck was with her, because she was going to need a lot of it.

I had no doubt she was in a severe state of hypothermia. The conditions were perfect for it and when I saw her hours before, she was exhausted. Then she refused to stop and get warm by my fire, and tried it on her own down the trail. From the trail of her tracks she failed to get a fire lit and since she was already exhausted and cold, when she stopped her core body temperature began to drop. With her fatigue and environmental conditions it could not kick start again.

Now, typically hypothermia has a few stages. The first is noticeably getting cold within and being tired to boot with a body temp about 95 or higher. The next level is getting sluggish, slow moving, slow memory and mental functions, shivering uncontrollably, and just feeling the cold bone deep with a body temp between 90 and 94 degrees F. The next level moves into states of delirium and illusion within the sluggish mind. Sense of direction, time, and the surrounding reality is lost. Orientation and the simple ability to think are also right out the window. The feeling or brain’s awareness of the cold are dimmed or completely abandoned. The muscles normally stiffen and the body temp is around 80-90 degrees F. Many times people in this advanced stage of hypothermia begin to remove and discard clothing. Once the body reaches the 75 degree or lower temperature range, the survival percentage drops dramatically. Most do not survive below 75 degrees.

I encountered many people through the years in various wilderness areas in states of hypothermia. I’ve treated all of them, from the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, to the Cascades of Washington State; in the northern Appalachians and Adirondacks and along the coast of northern Maine.

When I was going through spec-ops and SF training, the trainers would have half of us stand in icy water until we were blue, shivering uncontrollably and started getting disoriented with the inability to speak correctly. The other half would drag us out and treat us for hypothermia, as we were all trained to for field work.

In the first stage of hypothermia if you get by a fire, remove all wet clothing, cover up with dry materials and most importantly drink hot liquids you will be fine.

The second stage requires the same, removal of all wet clothing, rubbing down the body to induce circulation, lots of hot liquid consumption, the application of heat (baths, hot water bottles, warm stones, heating pads, etc), because the body has lost the energy to build enough of its own, and the covering of the body with dry clothing/blankets, sleeping bag etc.

The third stage requires assistance of administering hot fluids, application of external heat and massage of the body to stimulate circulation. The removal of all damp or wet clothing is essential. Basically the core of the body needs to be heated before the extremities. If the extremities are heated first, the person could die from shock and heart failure. This is very difficult to treat and takes time and patience. Most professionals will tell you not to treat severe cases if the person can be brought to a medical facility.

The stages of hypothermia move quickly if not paid attention to and remedied. Someone can move from stage one to stage three in 15 or 20 minutes under the mild conditions that we were in. Under more severe conditions, the time span from stage one to stage three can happen in a mere 10 minutes. I have witnessed many stage two hypothermia cases and most of them have lost the ability to properly care for themselves. That very short period between stage one and stage two can be mere minutes and create the difference between life and death for someone alone. Now it is important to remember that typically, but not always, a person must stop moving in a cold, fatigued state to slip into hypothermic conditions. However, if the energy levels have been depleted enough, a person can fall into hypothermia while still walking around.

This girl was in a high level of hypothermia, possibly stage three, complete unconsciousness. I did not have a thermometer so I could not measure her body temperature. Without direct and immediate help she would probably be dead in 40 minutes. Time was of the essence.

I opened my pack and drug out my small one person tarp. Since I left the ropes attached to the corners from when I took it down early in the morning, I quickly strung it up, about four feet off the ground in less than 90 seconds or so. Next out was my sleeping bag and ground pad. After laying out the sleeping bag on top of the pad I picked the girl up and maneuvered her into the sleeping bag. I strung the tarp first because it was raining and I needed to keep the sleeping bag as dry as possible.

I found myself wondering if I should start warming her body or building a quick fire first and then warm her body. I knew that her body needed external heat as soon as possible, but I also knew that she would need lots of warm liquids once she started to come around to help warm her from the inside out. I decided to focus my attention on her. The rain would not stop and the wood could not get any wetter than it already was. I had treated a number of people in stage two hypothermia before, but never stage three unconscious hypothermia. (In years to come I did end up having to treat stage 3 in a number of unfortunate cases, but this was my first stage 3, not in mock or controlled situation) I knew what needed to be done, but this would be the first time treating this level in the middle of nowhere.

I stripped down and crawled into the sleeping bag with her. Whoa she was like a block of ice. I felt the chill try creeping into me just by being in the same bag as her. My sleeping bag was a mummy style and big enough for me, but two people in the bag was ridiculous. I felt like I was a sardine in one of those cans and shoved in the refrigerator. I knew that my body heat alone probably would not be enough to raise her body temperature to safe levels. I needed to keep her body warm and rub her down at the same time, but I could not even move in the bag with her.

So there I was, naked, stuffed into a sleeping bag with an unconscious frozen naked girl in the middle of nowhere with rain coming down, 40 degrees and approaching night. Insanity. Why could she not have stopped and warmed herself by my fire back around noon???

With approaching night, dropping temperatures and nighttime, I needed to get this situation figured out and soon. Not only was I inside my mummy bag with the unconscious stage 3 hypothermic girl, but I had no space to move and I had crawled inside facing her. Arms, legs, knees, everything was just in the way. OK, back out.

I struggled to get the zipper down and get myself out as quickly as possible and zip the bag back up. If I did opt to light a fire it would take the fire a good while in this weather to burn hot enough with a solid coal base before I would be able to leave it, crawl back inside the sleeping bag and directly attend to “Clover”. Yes let me refer to her from now on as “Clover” since she had the tattoo of the shamrock. I decided that was a bad idea because she needed heat now, not after I got the fire going good and strong.

That was settled. Back into the mummy bag I would go. After all, I was now nude in the same conditions and starting to get cold. I could not allow myself to get cold because her ice block of a body certainly would not warm me up.

I tried to unzip the bag as little as possible so the little heat inside would not escape. Well after a couple minutes of infuriating acrobatics under the tarp trying to get into the darn bag, I ended up having to unzip the thing anyway. Making sure to position myself behind Clover like a spoon I zipped the bag back up as far as the bulging zipper would go. I was sure it would bust open at any moment, but surprisingly it held.

I still found that I did not have the room to rub her down to try getting the circulation going again. I decided to wrap my arms around her and press as much of my body against her skin as possible and hope the physics of conduction would kick in pulling heat from me into her. I kept clenching my muscles and releasing, over and over to keep my body working to produce more heat. I had no idea how long I laid there trying to get her body to absorb enough of my heat to start producing her own again. However, sometime during that timeframe, I had a rather distressing thought. What would her reaction be if she regained consciousness when she realized she was cloaked in the darkness of night wedged inside a sleeping bag naked with another unknown naked person? I had not thought of that!

I guess some of her Irish luck reached out to me that night as well because after a long while, she actually felt warm and her pulses had increased to more normal levels. She was still not conscious, but it got to a point where it felt as if she was sleeping rather than unconscious. I figured she was stable enough for me to move to the next part of my plan. It was time to get myself out of the cocoon and get a fire going.

After quickly getting myself out of the sleeping bag and zipping it back up and putting on my freezing clothes, I made a small spot next to the tarp for the fire. I unzipped the pouch on my backpack that held the flint and steel along with a dry tinder bundle I kept for emergencies. I remembered that to the east a few paces were young hemlock trees. I did not have a flashlight. I normally did not carry one because I rarely used ones that I had carried before. Sure, they can come in handy, but that was part of the challenge for me. I found it also kept my senses and observation skills at peak, knowing I would not have light after the sun left except for that of my fire. I do NOT recommend this practice for the average hiker…

I moved into the rain and broke off lots of tiny dead twigs protruding from the lower hemlock trunks somewhat protected from the heavy rain by the thick green bows above. No birch trees in that area so no wonderful birch bark to use. I quickly filled my hands with a heaping mound of twigs. After placing them under the tarp I broke off some dead wood from surrounding ash and maple trees. Back under the tarp I used my knife to split the bigger wet wood into strips exposing the dry wood within. Quickly, I arranged the fire lay in the dark and began striking sparks from the flint and steel.

A spark caught the tinder bundle and young flames began to breathe and spread. Before long the fire was going and shining orange light in the black ink of soggy night. The steam of my breath was everywhere mixing with the heavy fog that crept in after sunset. I used the light to gather wood and stoke the fire. Around the edges of the fire I laid stones that I could find to start them heating up.

I checked on Clover and she was still in the same condition as when I left the bag, seemingly stable. Between chores I would rub her down through the sleeping bag to try and invigorate the nervous and circulatory system as best as I could under the circumstances. I dug out a pot from my pack and filled it with water, placed it on coals alongside the fire and retrieved my mug. As I waited for the water, to boil I dug through Clover’s backpack and found another mug. I also looked for identification. At first glance I did not find any. So back to the fire I went. The stones had heated to where they were nice and warm, but not skin burning. I took four of them and placed them inside the sleeping bag; two touching her chest and two touching the kidney area of the lower back.

I strung some rope from one tree, under the tarp to another tree so it hung alongside the fire. I draped some of her wet clothing on the line to dry. Meanwhile, the water boiled and I made myself some tea from the hemlock needles. More water was set on the coals to boil and I rotated her clothing as they dried. The fire was hot and the rope was close so the lighter clothing dried fairly quickly. The heavier shirts and pants I had hung near the ends of the line to get them started in the drying process.

Movement, I heard movement!

The noise I had heard was a tree starting to lean and tear up the ground with its root bundle. It was a live tree but the strength of the high winds blowing through the treetops and the saturated ground were uprooting it. Though on ground level there was only a slight breeze, the wind was howling in the forest canopy above. It was dark so I could not see far outside the firelight, but I did not have to. The tree was right next to us. It was a tall green ash that I had just happened to tie off one corner of the tarp to. If that tree completely fell it would rip the tarp to shreds stealing the only thing I had to cover Clover with from the rains.

I was just happy the tree was leaning the other way and not towards us. Jumping up, I ran to the rope tied to the falling tree and cut it loose. I had no time to untie it and even if I did, the wet knot was pulled extra tight with the strain put on it by the slowly leaning tree. The corner of the tarp fell in on Clover and the water ran off the partially collapsed tarp onto the ground which began streaming to her. As I use my knife to trench the water away from the sleeping pad and bag, I grabbed the flapping tarp corner. I reached in my pack and pulled out another line of rope and as I was tying the loose corner, the ash tree ripped out of the ground and fell to the soggy earth… taking half my fire with it. The root bundle that had torn up was partly under my fire, so as it came up, half my fire lay fell into the dark wet hole left behind.

OK, I was getting agitated. I had to restring the tarp corner, make sure Clover did not get wet in the process of the tarp’s collapse, and move my fire lay and build it back up before the rains doused it. What a lovely evening it was turning out to be.

With all the commotion, I heard Clover starting to stir in the sleeping bag. Finally! She groaned a bit and appeared to be slowly coming out of a deep grog like she had a severe hangover. I quickly poured the nettle leaf tea I had brewed with some of the remaining wood nettles growing nearby. Carrying the tea over to Clover I sat it down and calmly told her that everything was fine and that she was safe. I continued to talk to her and assure her that she was OK and that I had found her in a state of hypothermia. She continued to act quite disoriented and I continued to calmly reassure her as best as I could.

Maybe ten minutes passed before she was coherent enough to talk back. I asked her what her name was and if she could remember where she lived, birth date, phone number; anything that would make her think and click in the left brain so she could realign with logistics of her situation. I introduced myself and helped her sit up against the backpack. I handed her the tea, which I had to set back by the fire to warm up again. She was still quite sluggish but I told her how important it was that she started drinking as much hot liquid as she could stand. The nettle tea was a start since it would help not only to warm her insides, but also give her some potent nutrients. She began slowly drinking.

Once she drank a bit, I pulled one of her shirts off the clothes line that was warm and dry from the fire. I told her she needed to put some warm clothing back on so the heat she was generating would stay by her. I had to explain the whole story at this point, because she was coherent enough to start asking questions and try putting the empty spots back into perspective. She kept shaking her head like she just could not believe it all. She had no recollection of anything after trying to get the fire lit in the mid afternoon. “Cold”, that was all she could put to the memory space prior to her slipping into a dangerous state of hypothermia.

I made her more tea and when she finished, another and another. Soon she had to pee and then back into the bag with more dry clothing and more tea. I think about 70 minutes or so passed before she started eating a soup that I had made with some of the food I had. I gathered as many warming herbs that I could find so late in the season to add to the soup. She was tired but alive and generating her own heat, drinking and eating so I knew all would be well. I just had to make sure she remained warm and dry for the rest of the long damp night in the rainy mountains.

Eventually she crawled back into the sleeping bag fully clothed and went to sleep. I stayed awake, feeding the fire and checking on her, re-warming the hot rocks (mainly for me at that point because she was plenty warm). It was a long night, but I have had many very long nights in my life.

The morning came round and “Clover” woke up. I had hot tea and ash cakes waiting with the fire still burning nicely. The rain stopped sometime during the late night, so even though everything was soaking wet and the air was quite chilly and very damp, it was no longer falling from the sky. To me it felt like it might actually get breezy later in the day and clear a bit of the clouds away.

Clover crawled out of the sleeping bag and went off into the bushes. When she returned she sat down and drank and ate by the fire. We talked for a while about what had happened the day before, where she was from, how long she had planned to be out for and so on. As the morning stretched out we spoke on.

Apparently she had woken yesterday morning wet from her leaking tent. She began hiking, wet and chilled, but she was also tired from the hike the day before and not sleeping well from being wet and cool all night. It was a bad combination, especially with the heavy weather that continued to move in yesterday. By the time she came across me at noon she was beat, worn thin and wet from rains. She said she did not stop simply because she had always been a bit afraid from tales of lone hikers getting assaulted on deep trail systems. Ironic how that fear almost led to her death down trail., but sensible nonetheless. There are more than enough creeps out there in the world.

Clover was a kind person and I could tell she was a bit shy from the experience that she had gone through. Her body posture, tones and overall energy spoke clearly of embarrassment. I remained neutral and just passed it off as a simple live and learn event we all blunder into throughout our lives.

We dried out as much of her gear as would dry and loaded up her pack and mine as well. A friend of hers was coming in from a dirt road crossing some miles to the south to meet her. Clover asked if I would hike with her for a while and I agreed. I was in no hurry and would rather see her to her friend and make sure she remained strong enough to hike the distance after such an ordeal.

What should have taken half a day to hike took a day and a half because of her energy levels. Meanwhile her friend had continued hiking north where she waited and waited and Clover did not arrive on schedule. She found us before nightfall and joined us for the evening. Thanks and curiosities were the energies around the fire as we all ate and talked into the darkness.

I hiked south with them in the morning all the way to the road where we bid farewell and I continued on for another two days.

About a year later I got a letter from her, as I had given her my address. She thanked me again for my help along the trail, and said the experienced inspired her to sign up for wilderness rescue training. At the time she had already started her field medical training and would then move into wilderness rescue course. After that, I never heard from her again.

After retiring from the agency, and recovering enough from being poisoned, I was solicited a number of times over an eight year period by various authorities. Each one had asked me if I could assist them in locating a lost or missing hiker, or other individuals that went missing in remote regions. After eight years, when I would get a call, my answer was no. Why did I stop? I stopped because every person I found was already dead from injury or exposure. The families would wait too long to contact the authorities. Or the missing person failed to give anyone their trip plans, so if they didn’t return on a specific date, people could start looking. Then when the authorities failed to locate the person, they would call me. By that time the chances of the person still being alive were slim to nil. People broken at the bottom of canyons in the Southwest. People frozen to death in the winter mountains of New England. People expired from exposure in the Rocky Mountains, and so on and so on. I simply got tired of tracking down people that had already perished.

The last call I received was from an emergency rescue team that had been searching for three people. The trio had left for a canyon hike in the Southwest desserts, and never made it back. The rescue team asked if I would help. I asked when the trio left and when they were supposed to have retuned. I was told their return date was 12 days ago. I said flat out, “They are already dead.” Of course they replied that I couldn’t say that and hope was to be given to the families. I responded that they could tell the families whatever they wished, that was not my responsibility, but I could guarantee the trio had already perished. They flew me out and brought me to the start point where the trio had began their trek. It was then 14 days past the return date. I tracked the trio in a day and a half, and found them all dead at the bottom of a canyon cliff they had walked off of. But the signs left, it looked as if they had been drinking and walked off the cliff sometime in the middle of the night on their second night out.

In most of the hypothermia cases I’ve come across in the wilderness, poor choices of clothing and pushing past personal limitations were the main causes. A few were from injuries, but most could have been avoided.

When Clover contacted me a year after this incident, she asked if I would write the entire experience out as factually, and without leaving anything out as I could. She wished to take the story to her emergency rescue schools to share. Part of the story was published that are year in one of the local First Responder publications as well.

Clover had made 7 main mistakes. Can you list them?



I'm really enjoying your survival stories. For some reason I missed part. 1, and your link that you highlighted doesn't allow me access? From your blog list I don't even see a part 1?
I edited the first section after posting this one. I added the second part link to the first section... so the moderators have yet to approve it. If you post a blog article it goes through immediately, but as soon as you hit the edit button it gets removed and then has to wait for approval... no idea why it works that way. So I'm sure a bunch of people will be reading this story backwards...
How fortunate was "Clover" to be found by you and her life saved!
Now that I post this article, it made me wonder whatever happened to her, and how her life thus far as played out. It has been many years since the Loyalsock.
And who knows, if I hadn't had been there, perhaps she would have stopped earlier and got a fire going? The world of "if's" is a pointless place to visit ;)

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