Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stayin' Alive

 Everyone has had some close calls that stick in their mind.  Mine are nearly drowning, narrowly avoiding falling into a burning stump-hole, almost falling down wells, a head-on collision narrowly averted.  They happen fast, and either you make it or you don't.  A retired pilot recently told me about a friend who liked to push the limit on low level flight, and one night was suddenly gone; a pod on his plane caught four feet of a ridge top.  There wasn't even time to say S---.
 One cold, dark night in the just-passed winter, a woman from out of town visited a local church and attempted to walk back to her motel on this abandoned highway segment.  When she came to the barrier at the bridge she stepped around it, and then fell down the steep bank.  She was found early the next morning at the bottom of the drop, and searchers reported that she had clawed at the bank until she succumbed to hypothermia.  The little things that kill people seem almost unbelievable.  I traverse obstacles worse than this regularly and my biggest concerns are keeping my feet dry, and keeping my face out of poison ivy.

If the lady had just turned around and looked behind her she should have seen that she could walk right out of the creek bed.  It was dark, and she probably did not have a light with her... but Highway 15 was a short distance away, and she could have walked or crawled there easily.  She would have seen headlights if she had looked around.  Anyway, when things are not going your way, stay alert, look around, carry a light, wear good shoes.

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