Trail Angels and Mishaps

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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby teapot57 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:08 pm

Well..after rewriting over and over and reflection, I don't believe the story is all that good.
Context is everything and I don't seem to be able to describe the event in a way that would make sense.
No matter how I write it, it comes out seeming "trivial". And maybe it was.
My bad. Sorry :(

pete :wink:


No pressure, Pete. I'm sure there are quite a few trail angel stories to be told with you involved. :D
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby orin » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:43 pm

Fifteen or twenty years ago I was backpacking a week long loop in the Glacier Peak Wilderness in Washington state. Several days into the trip while hiking along the west side of Glacier Peak on the Pacific Crest trail I heard someone yelling. I turned around to see an older woman calling and waving. When she caught up she asked me where she was. I pulled out my topographic map and showed her our location which was approximately 10 miles from her trailhead. It was about 5pm. She was dressed for hiking and had a water bottle but nothing else. She had been hiking with a group of friends but had lagged behind for a bit and then couldn’t catch up with them again. Looking at the map it became obvious she had turned the wrong way at a trail junction. Instead of turning onto a side trail that looped back to the trail she had come up she had continued down the PCT away from her group. So what to do? She had already walked about 4 miles in the wrong direction. She would have to walk 10 more miles to get back to her starting trailhead. At a pace of 3 miles/hr she would barely make it before dark. And she didn’t look all that fit although she was in no distress from the first 10 miles. I was about a mile short of my campsite for the night. So I suggested that she camp with me. The weather was OK. She would be able to get through the night with a few of my extra clothes and some extra food I could do without. And if the weather turned, my largish tent would provide protection. But she wanted to get back to her group as soon as possible. So we reviewed the route again and I described the trail junction in as much detail as I could remember so she wouldn’t make another error there. And off she went.

The unsatisfying part of this story is that I have no idea what happened to her. I was worried that I would soon read in the paper that a woman had gone missing in the North Cascades and no trace could be found of her. But there was nothing in the papers or the local trail websites so she probably made it back without any problem. Even so, I wonder sometimes whether I should have turned around and hiked back with her. It would have messed up my trip somewhat but would have been safer for her. What would you have done?
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby wnysteve » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:54 pm

orin wrote: What would you have done?


I think you did what you could. You can only do so much if assistance is declined. It brings to mind eight years ago, down in the Collegiates, I had ascended Mt. Yale, elev. 14,199'. At the top was a man resting; I classified him as clearly "elderly" by my standards. He said that he had started up at 5:15 am. I had started at 7 am, so I realized that his pace was slow (ie, slower than mine). He said he did not feel so good and was collecting his strength for the descent. I certainly understood, for I wasn't feeling so chipper myself. I suggested that the best remedy for him was to lose elevation, and quickly. He said he would be all right. I then followed my own advice and went down.

I reached the trailhead at 6:20 pm. It was still light, but beginning to fade. There was a man there and he was waiting for the one I had met at the summit. This guy was clearly worried. I forget if they had been hiking together or if this man had come to the trailhead looking for him. It was then that I found out that the man on the summit was 77 years old. I really started to worry then, but I was convinced I had done what I could, for the man was not injured and, after all, he had just summited Mt. Yale, an achievement at any age. Like you, I heard nothing thereafter concerning a casualty on the mountain, so I have long thought that everything turned out all right.
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby indiana hiker » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:37 pm

I believe you both did all you could and hopefully everything turned out well. I will try to post a story that might bring a smile to a few faces. It may not sound as funny in type as it did at the time. I was hesitant to post as it didn't involve Glacier, but now see that seems ok. About 25 years ago I visited Breaks Interstate State Park located on the border of KY and West VA. It is known as the Grand Canyon of the South and is quite beautiful. We hiked to the river on a trail that started at two different points requiring a mile or so hike on the road to get back to your car. When we started, about a mile in we passed two women that were moving really slow and had run out of water. We talked for a while and found they were bird watchers. We went on and came out the other trail head. As we got to the parking area there was an older man (probably the age we are now!) putting a pistol in his ankle holster. He told us he always carried and especially since he had seen two "hippies" in a red truck in the park. He asked if we had seen the bird watchers as he had warned them also of the hippies and the women's car was still parked in the lot. We told him they had almost finished the trail. We went on down the road to our vehicle. We did not pass the two women. We got our vehicle and returned to the lodge. I kept wondering about those women, so we grabbed a couple of water bottles and went back to the trail head. We hiked a few hundred feet in and there they were. One had fallen and hurt her wrist and they were really struggling. We gave them water and snacks and they thanked us profusely. We helped them up the trail and told them we would drive them back to the other parking area to their car. They were joyous. That is until they got to the parking lot and then you could see the concern on their faces as they looked back and forth at each other. Yes, they were face to face with the "hippies" and they were being offered a ride in the red truck! After a few moments, they accepted. I guess they figured they would take their chances with us rather than walk the mile back to their car.
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby smahurin » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:42 pm

PeteE wrote:
teapot57 wrote:
Does a "car camping" angel story count?


Of course! Let's hear it.


The draft now is just too long.:(
I gotta find a way to shorten it.

pete :wink:


Bah, just post it kid! We'd love to read.

I agree Orin, you do what you can to help people, but at some point you can only go so far.
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby Jen » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:16 pm

joybird wrote:Then, in 2015...snap! My trail-magic spork snapped deep in a bag of Mountain House Macaroni and Cheese. Gah! Ain't no way I was gonna be able to finish my dinner with a 2-inch utensil-remnant without ending up with saucy, orange knuckles... Lucky for me, there was another Trail Angel there: Chatter (Ipasha) Jen. She offered me her "backup" titanium spork, and like the first guy, insisted that I keep it.

Since then, I always carry a spare spork with me. And, sure enough, I've had occasion to give it to another utensil-less backpacker as well. Feels nice to be able to share the wealth... :D


The USPS cookies were worth every ounce of that titanium spork. ;)
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby Jen » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:43 am

Not on the trail but an angel nonetheless:

Newlyweds 1998
Hopped off the train in East Glacier with a pocketful of cash, a rental car reservation and a lot of naivete. Our car rental was with Glacier Trading Co. We were young and did not realize our cash would not suffice when renting a car. Without a car, the rest of our lodging reservations would not be accessible, one night of which was at a B&B in Bigfork...in a Tipi! We walked down the street to The Whistling Swan to check in for the night. We told the owner, Mark, of our dilemma. He told us not to worry and pulled out a rental car contract and a set of keys. Mark now owns the Glacier Trading CO. (among a few other local businesses).

Mishaps:
Have I told you the story of when I bear sprayed myself?
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby dpratt » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:12 am

Jen wrote:Mishaps:

Have I told you the story of when I bear sprayed myself?


Um...no. Please do go on.... :lol:
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby Jen » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:49 pm

dpratt wrote:
Jen wrote:Mishaps:

Have I told you the story of when I bear sprayed myself?


Um...no. Please do go on.... :lol:



2005, my 2nd trip.

Our first real "'''family vacation" with Dave, Cooper (age 2) and Maia (6 months).

The plan was Iceberg Lake. We were barely out of the Swiftcurrent parking lot when Dave realized he had forgotten something and returned to the car. I waited on the trail with Cooper in the Kelty carrier on my back. I squatted down to adjust my boot and compressed the Counter Assault trigger against my thigh at point blank range. We hustled back to our cabin (Glacier Trailhead Cabins) where I showered at least 30 times. I had a chemical burn on my thigh for several days after that. I was very lucky it didn't hit Cooper in the face. I can laugh now, but I felt really dumb at the time.

Take it from me, kids. Do NOT take the safety off the spray until you absolutely need to. :roll:
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby joybird » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:19 am

Jen wrote:
I can laugh now, but I felt really dumb at the time.


Wow. Going from this, to Ipasha and 8085.

You've come a long way, Baby! :mrgreen:
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby dpratt » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:45 am

Jen wrote:
dpratt wrote:
Jen wrote:Mishaps:

Have I told you the story of when I bear sprayed myself?


Um...no. Please do go on.... :lol:



2005, my 2nd trip.

Our first real "'''family vacation" with Dave, Cooper (age 2) and Maia (6 months).

The plan was Iceberg Lake. We were barely out of the Swiftcurrent parking lot when Dave realized he had forgotten something and returned to the car. I waited on the trail with Cooper in the Kelty carrier on my back. I squatted down to adjust my boot and compressed the Counter Assault trigger against my thigh at point blank range. We hustled back to our cabin (Glacier Trailhead Cabins) where I showered at least 30 times. I had a chemical burn on my thigh for several days after that. I was very lucky it didn't hit Cooper in the face. I can laugh now, but I felt really dumb at the time.

Take it from me, kids. Do NOT take the safety off the spray until you absolutely need to. :roll:


Ouch! A chemical burn?? :shock:
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby Jen » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:35 am

dpratt wrote:
Ouch! A chemical burn?? :shock:


A pepper burn?
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby dpratt » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:58 am

Jen wrote:
dpratt wrote:
Ouch! A chemical burn?? :shock:


A pepper burn?


Same basic thing, I guess. Still a big ouch.
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby Marmotman » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:58 pm

You are in the "pepper club" Jen :oops: :mrgreen:

I joined 2 summers ago. We had a very close encounter with a mama griz and 2 babies (another story) but the result came out OK. The safety in my wife's pepper spray got put in upside down somehow. 2 days later as I was putting everything away in my storage shed in the back yard, I put that can of pepper spray up on the shelf with the others. The nylon holster made it a little tippy and it fell off the shelf, turned 180 degrees upside down while falling and hit the next shelf down. This shelf happened to be right at face level. When it hit, it discharged a short burst right into my eyes which were about 12 inches away. It took me about 10 minutes to crawl into the house so I could run the kitchen faucet into my eyes. I couldn't see for about an hour but eventually the pain went away...... :evil:
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Re: Trail Angels and Mishaps

Postby dpratt » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:51 pm

Marmotman wrote:You are in the "pepper club" Jen :oops: :mrgreen:

I joined 2 summers ago. We had a very close encounter with a mama griz and 2 babies (another story) but the result came out OK. The safety in my wife's pepper spray got put in upside down somehow. 2 days later as I was putting everything away in my storage shed in the back yard, I put that can of pepper spray up on the shelf with the others. The nylon holster made it a little tippy and it fell off the shelf, turned 180 degrees upside down while falling and hit the next shelf down. This shelf happened to be right at face level. When it hit, it discharged a short burst right into my eyes which were about 12 inches away. It took me about 10 minutes to crawl into the house so I could run the kitchen faucet into my eyes. I couldn't see for about an hour but eventually the pain went away...... :evil:


Ouch doesn't quite do that justice. Wow.

I hope to never be part of the pepper club.
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