Friday, July 06, 2007

April Snow Story from the Great Smoky Mountains

The Detroit News cools off our warm 2nd of July 2007 with a story by Matthew A. Goricki about his mid-April snow-encrusted escape from the Clingman's Dome Shelter in the Smokies. It's headlined "Nature unleashes a harsh lesson; Spring hike in the Great Smoky Mountains becomes chilling and grueling test of survival."

He tells a story of ingenuity and improvisation combining to make up for not having the right equipment for the surprise snowstorm, and for letting his boots freeze into unwearability overnight. Luckily, he could make his way to his car up on top of Clingman's Dome. And, once there, he found that downed trees on the roadway would force him to spend the night in his car.

His conclusion:
"I not only consider myself fortunate to be alive, but also to have been in this survival situation.

"Besides tactical tricks and skills learned, my trip taught me two valuable lessons. First, I learned to never underestimate the weather and how quickly, and violently, it can change.

"Second, I learned that the wilderness can be both my best friend and my worst enemy in the same, weeklong trip."
We should all be so level-headed and fortunate if we should be caught in a similar situation.

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