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  1. #1221
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    Quote Originally Posted by SawnieRobertson View Post
    Having never hiked in that area YET, I wonder if the Maine woods are any thicker, any more dense, than the Smokies.
    People have disappeared there and not been seen again--not so much up on the ridge where the AT is but in the lower elevations. How do they compare if someone steps away from the trail?
    There is no general statements that can be made about the Maine woods when it comes to being dense. Tree lines vary greatly too. In some places the tree line is only at 1400' (Penobscott Mt) and some 4000' hills have no tree line. As an example, Saddleback Junior has a tree line and is only 3655' and Spaulding does not even though it is close to 4000'. Sugarloaf has some of the densest firs in Maine and Poplar is relatively open. The beauty of Maine is the ever changing landscape. We have a great variety of trees. You can walk through a softwood grove and minutes later be in a hardwood grove. One minute you can't see 15' in front of you in the woods and a few minutes later you can see several 100 yards.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  2. #1222

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    I’m just sick about all of this. It’s heartbreaking to think of the loss to her family and friends – I send them my condolences, and wish them peace.

    Baffling – I think we all used that word from the very beginning.

    Here is a woman who is a slow (I like to say ‘purposeful’) hiker by anyone’s definition, supposedly getting lost in the woods – so far, so deep, that she can’t be found!?! How far could she have gotten? We know what the trail itself is like, can you imagine her trying to navigate the off-trail terrain of dense forest, rocks, roots, ankle-twisting divots – need I go on? How far would she have gone before realizing the gravity of the situation and putting more rational thinking into play?

    If she had a medical ‘episode’, she’d be somewhere on or very near the side of the trail.

    If she fell, as someone here worded it before, “an acorn falls under the tree” (not a mile away from the tree).

    It makes absolutely no sense – sorry, but I have serious doubts about any of those scenarios.

    As a fellow hiker, I want to thank the Maine Wardens, and all the searchers, volunteers, everyone involved in trying to bring Gerry home. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you've done! ~turtle feet GA/ME ‘11~
    www.postholer.com/Turtle Feet
    Follow me as I crawl the A.T.
    Life is an adventure or nothing at all ~ Hellen Keller

  3. #1223
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle Feet View Post
    I’m just sick about all of this. It’s heartbreaking to think of the loss to her family and friends – I send them my condolences, and wish them peace.

    Baffling – I think we all used that word from the very beginning.

    Here is a woman who is a slow (I like to say ‘purposeful’) hiker by anyone’s definition, supposedly getting lost in the woods – so far, so deep, that she can’t be found!?! How far could she have gotten? We know what the trail itself is like, can you imagine her trying to navigate the off-trail terrain of dense forest, rocks, roots, ankle-twisting divots – need I go on? How far would she have gone before realizing the gravity of the situation and putting more rational thinking into play?

    If she had a medical ‘episode’, she’d be somewhere on or very near the side of the trail.

    If she fell, as someone here worded it before, “an acorn falls under the tree” (not a mile away from the tree).

    It makes absolutely no sense – sorry, but I have serious doubts about any of those scenarios.

    As a fellow hiker, I want to thank the Maine Wardens, and all the searchers, volunteers, everyone involved in trying to bring Gerry home. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you've done! ~turtle feet GA/ME ‘11~

    my only thought is IF she had a medical emergency OR fell and hit her head is that she may have been delirious and nt thinking straight, a friend of mines dad had a small stroke and it affected his thinking he was driving and he just kept going and going they found 270 miles from home on the side of the road... only reason he stopped?? he ran out of gas SO if she had a mental breakdown of any kind it could explain her getting way off track,,, i post this in hopes thats what happened, rather than the fact that "somebody" did something with her

  4. #1224
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    one more off the wall thing i thought of as to why they cant find her... If she was chased up a tree by a bear and got stuck or had a heart attack i know the chances are slim and next to none that this happened but it is a thought


    God be with her wherever she is .........

  5. #1225
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Remember little Ottie Powell, the four-year-old who wandered away from school, barefoot, one November and was finally found the following spring seven miles away, on the top of a mountain. Lost people frequently behave in ways that make it very hard to find them. Unfortunately.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  6. #1226
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdBrain View Post
    There is no general statements that can be made about the Maine woods when it comes to being dense. Tree lines vary greatly too. In some places the tree line is only at 1400' (Penobscott Mt) and some 4000' hills have no tree line. As an example, Saddleback Junior has a tree line and is only 3655' and Spaulding does not even though it is close to 4000'. Sugarloaf has some of the densest firs in Maine and Poplar is relatively open. The beauty of Maine is the ever changing landscape. We have a great variety of trees. You can walk through a softwood grove and minutes later be in a hardwood grove. One minute you can't see 15' in front of you in the woods and a few minutes later you can see several 100 yards.
    +1 BirdBrain, nailed it. There are places so thick that it is difficult or nearly impossible to crawl through. I am trying to remember if there are any bogs in this section which could swallow a person pack and all because that is all I can think of. A person leaves a small footprint, pack contents do not, mice, red squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, fishers, weasels, martins, coyotes, bears would spread the contents all over the place, this just makes no sense at all.

  7. #1227
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    Ottie Powell was 4 years old and was lost in November. Locals and family searched for him but couldn't find him.

    Gerry was a 66 year old experienced AT hiker. She was lost during the summer and professional search and rescue people can't find her.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  8. #1228

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    For what it is worth, I once became dehydrated during a summer hike. I also purged my system of electrolites by drinking too much too fast when I found water. I passed out at a road I knew should not be there (I had hiked the trail several times). When I came to, I was confused but knew I was lost. I made a conscious decision to go the wrong way on the road. After a couple of hundred yards, a degree of reasoning returned and I retraced my steps to get back to the trail and to camp until I could get my brain in gear. Everything worked out. Here is the funny thing, I had a GPS, a compass, a map, and I was within 15 minutes of finishing the hike. I would have been long gone if my senses had not returned and no one would have thought to go the way I was headed when a degree of reasoning returned. Bottom line, if the brain gets rattled then you can't expect someone to do the expected or even close to the expected.
    If you faint in the face of adversity then your faith is indeed small--Solomon

  9. #1229

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dog View Post
    Bottom line, if the brain gets rattled then you can't expect someone to do the expected or even close to the expected.
    +1, getting lost in the PEMI watershed in the Whites was the scariest things that has ever happened to me, just sheer panic and I was not debilitated in any way.

    Fortunately I had a map, compass and two handrails in the form of a cliff and a river. Even with all that, I was guilty of "bending the map" for a while.

    Such a sad story.

  10. #1230

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle Feet View Post
    Can anyone here speak to the searching done with the dogs?

    I’m curious as to whether or not any scent dogs were taken out to the Poplar LT and worked NOBO from there. Seems like an obvious thing to do, and it’s probably been done, but I haven’t heard any specifics since they were first searching with dogs NOBO of Spaulding LT.
    This is exactly what I have been thinking and wondering since I first read about inchworm's disappearance last week. Have said numerous prayers ever since. It is very hard to think about. Hard to express my feelings because I start to tear up.
    Trillium

  11. #1231

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Murphy View Post
    +1, getting lost in the PEMI watershed in the Whites was the scariest things that has ever happened to me, just sheer panic and I was not debilitated in any way.

    Fortunately I had a map, compass and two handrails in the form of a cliff and a river. Even with all that, I was guilty of "bending the map" for a while.

    Such a sad story.
    I have thought all along that getting lost with subsequent injury while in panic mode was the most likely scenario. Just a handful of yards off the trail in thick woods for a bathroom break or search for water, etc., can easily get even an experienced hiker turned around. Once that happens panic could set in and interfere with any rational thinking. Especially susceptible would be one hiking alone without the benefit of friends to bail them out. I was lost for the better part of a day in the Colorado Rockies and I was panic stricken the entire time. I was completely unable to think rationally. I had to keep moving -- I was unable to stop walking despite the fact I had no idea which direction to go. I could not even stop for water. I could have hiked 20 miles before I had settled down and began to think rationally. Luckily, I stumbled into a campground and found my way home but that was indeed sheer luck. I think different people behave slightly differently in that type of situation but I suspect most would feel some sort of anxiety or panic that could easily interfere with rational thought or the ability to take normal precautions.
    "To take risks is to live, to be always safe and secure is certain death" - Edward Abbey

  12. #1232

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    Have the wardens made public the map that contains this "green band" they refer to? Has anyone seen it???

    Quote Originally Posted by attroll View Post
    I received some more information from my reliable source today, which I can’t name. I have to paraphrase what was said. This is the Maine Warden replying here......

    My strategy going forward is after talking with the person again about the cell phone coverage. Which she would have had coverage up at Popular Lean to and couple other places coming North on the trail, is if you remember the cell phone ping from George sent on Monday about 1420 hours and her cell phone received, there is also another text received at 1030 she receives but does not answer. The cell phone company is guessing where that is, but if you remember the green band, about 120 degrees wide, Lenny had on the map that indicated that is most likely where the cell phone was at the time.
    I think she would have answered both those text if she had stopped on the trail and took out her phone, so I am thinking something happens where she cannot get to her phone but it is on, I cannot remember where she carried her phone, but it indicates to me that she is SOMEWHERE in that green band or at least her cell phone is, which I believe is with her.

    So I talked with another person and he has the Cell phone data on his computer and we are looking at areas within the green band that need further searching, one big area that stands out to me is south of the AT near poplar, we have not had anyone in there, it is quite possible now that something happened to her on this section of trail and most of it is within this green band. That is where most of the search effort will be Thursday.
    www.postholer.com/Turtle Feet
    Follow me as I crawl the A.T.
    Life is an adventure or nothing at all ~ Hellen Keller

  13. #1233

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    Gerry's husband, George, has officially announced the details of the memorial for Gerry (see below). He asked that it be spread far and wide, and I thought there would be no better place to post than White Blaze. You folks have been terrific. I am deeply moved by the care and concern my fellow hikers have for a complete stranger. It warms the heart. In lieu of flowers, George is asking that people consider a donation to either the Maine Search and Rescue (who, God bless them, drained many resources in this fruitless search), or Gerry's favorite charity, the Nature Conservancy. Details are below. Thank you again, all of you! Kit aka EE If you wish to share this info, I buried a link in my website: http://www.kitparks.com/LargayMemorialInfo

    Friends and Family

    I am sharing updated information on the memorial service for Gerry, including a time change for the service (now at 9 a.m.) and lodging details for out-of-town guests. Thank you for your support over these last several weeks. I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Atlanta on Oct. 12.


    • The memorial service will be held for Gerry at St. Brigid Catholic Church in John’s Creek, Georgia outside of Atlanta on Saturday, October 12 at 9 a.m.


    St. Brigid Catholic Church
    3400 Old Alabama Road
    John’s Creek, GA 30022
    www.saintbrigid.org

    Key Information on the Memorial Service


    • The start time has been moved up to 9 a.m. in order to help accommodate a previously scheduled wedding taking place at the church at 2 p.m., preparations for which begin at 1 p.m.
    • Following the 9 a.m. Mass (performed by Father Mark Beckman of Nashville), personal remarks will be made in the sanctuary by a small group of friends and family members.
    • Following those remarks, guests are invited to stay for a brunch-style reception in the adjoining Corbett Hall. We will need to adjourn no later than 1 p.m.
    • Hotel Arrangements: A block of 30 rooms has been reserved for both Friday and Saturday nights at the Holiday Inn Express, 2950 Mansell Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022. The nightly rate is $75 and includes breakfast and free Internet. To book a room, you MUST call the hotel DIRECTLY at 770-552-0006 and reference the Gerry Largay Memorial Service. Do NOT call the 800 number as they do not know of this special rate. For any questions or problems, please call. Ms. Kerri McEwin, Senior Manager of Events & Tradeshows, at 404-459-7191. She made the arrangements with the hotel. If additional rooms are needed beyond the block of 30, there is a contingency plan in place for that.




    • In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Gerry’s honor to either of two organizations, the Nature Conservancy, an organization long near and dear to her, and the Maine Association of Search and Rescue, which has led the search efforts.


    There are three ways to donate to The Nature Conservancy in honor of Gerry Largay:

    Donate Over The Phone: (800) 628-6860 and mention “in honor of Gerry Largay, fund #: 3233563”

    Mail A Check:
    The Nature Conservancy
    P.O. Box 6014
    Albert Lea, MN 56007
    Please note “in honor of Gerry Largay, fund #: 3233563” in subject line

    Donate Online:

    • Visit nature.org
    • Click on the “donate” button on the upper right side of the page
    • Select “Memorial and Tribute Giving” in the dropdown menu
    • Click on “Make a Memorial Gift” and follow the prompts to enter information.
    • Please note “Gerry Largay, Brentwood, TN” in “Person to be Remembered” field.
    • To notify the family of your online donation, please enter the following information in the “notification” field: Leigh Lindsey, 611 Commerce St., Suite 2800, Nashville, TN 37203


    To donate to the Maine Association of Search and Rescue in honor of Gerry Largay:

    Mail A Check (online and phone donation options are not available):
    Maine Association for Search and Rescue
    c/o Jim Bridge, Secretary
    14 Pasture Way
    Brunswick, ME 04011
    Please note “In Honor of Gerry Largay” in subject line

  14. #1234

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle Feet View Post
    Have the wardens made public the map that contains this "green band" they refer to? Has anyone seen it???
    Is there a detective working on this case?

  15. #1235
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    I am flummoxed too...I have been following this from the start and normally the person is found in a relatively short period of time. As mentioned before:
    1. A medical emergency a person would be found close to or on the trail. (Though not always as we have seen but most of the time)
    2. An animal encounter would have the person close to the trail as well. (Unless ran away or the animal moved the person)
    3. A fall would dictate the person not far from the point of impact relatively
    4. Our hiker had a routine of over staying at shelters so stealth camping is nixed.
    I can only think that the searchers missed an area of did not go far enough away from the trail. Just this morning a story of a womans remains was found in a duffel bag in Panama 70 YARDS from where her home was and it was searched before...not well enough.

  16. #1236

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    Quote Originally Posted by turtle fast View Post
    I am flummoxed too...I have been following this from the start and normally the person is found in a relatively short period of time. As mentioned before:
    1. A medical emergency a person would be found close to or on the trail. (Though not always as we have seen but most of the time)
    2. An animal encounter would have the person close to the trail as well. (Unless ran away or the animal moved the person)
    3. A fall would dictate the person not far from the point of impact relatively
    4. Our hiker had a routine of over staying at shelters so stealth camping is nixed.
    I can only think that the searchers missed an area of did not go far enough away from the trail. Just this morning a story of a womans remains was found in a duffel bag in Panama 70 YARDS from where her home was and it was searched before...not well enough.
    No one ever mentions the possibility of foul play, or when it's mentioned it's with the caveat there "isn't any evidence" of foul play. But, there isn't any other kind of evidence either (at least as far as I know). There are several places between Poplar Ridge and Spaulding Mt. where someone could have pretended to be a hiker in distress and lured her from the trail. I hope there are detectives considering this possibility.

  17. #1237
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    I have also, been following this incident and like everyone else, feel very confused why she hasn't been found. I feel for her family and all the AT family that his has affected. We're suppose to go to ME sometime this fall and hike that same area and quite frankly, it freaks me out not knowing what happened to her. It would be very interesting to know if they do in fact have an investigator still on this case.

  18. #1238

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebearee View Post
    It's amazing the amount of planning Gerry put into hiking the AT, even taking a course with Warren Doyle at the Appalachian Trail Institute. And just suddenly end up missing.

    "With her husband, she hiked 200 miles in the Georgia and North Carolina mountains, training for harder trails ahead. She took a course at the Appalachian Trail Institute. She sought the advice of
    a woman who holds the record for hiking the trail in 46 days. She read seven AT books. In all, she spent 18 months in logistics and training, even weighing her food to determine how much she should carry. George was her constant, bemused fellow planner.“Hiking [the trail] was not on my bucket list,” George said. “But when you’ve been happily married for 42 years you sort of meet in the middle” and compromise.
    George, not a camper, agreed to be the fellow she’d meet at prearranged spots to provide her with more food — and, every few days, with a hotel room where Gerry could take a bath and sleep on a mattress. He adopted a trail nickname, “Sherpa,” to describe his role as the support guy in her trek. She also took a hiking nickname, “Inchworm.” She was slow and steady.
    Gerry decided to make the northern trek first, leaving from the trail’s midway point at Harper’s Ferry, W.Va. That would put her ahead of hordes who started from Mount Springer. Gerry hoped to reach Mount Katahdin by late July or early August. She’d then return to Harper’s Ferry and hike toward Georgia, taking advantage of the milder Southern weather as temperatures dropped in Northern states. Gerry planned to finish by mid- to late November.
    In January, they sold their house and moved to Nashville, where the Largays had lived before and where their daughter Kerry Bauchiero has a home. From there, they made final plans."

    According to this article http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/hik...a-t-institute/ Warren Doyle hiked the AT 16 times and never went missing. Gerry had her whistle, her cell phone, her hiking poles and expert training. How can you be that prepared and just vanish into thin air???????

  19. #1239
    Registered User joshuasdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Carlson View Post
    Gerry had her whistle, her cell phone, her hiking poles and expert training. How can you be that prepared and just vanish into thin air???????
    I spent over a week in Maine in early August researching, posting on WB, hiking the section, searching off trail, etc. regarding the same question. I don't think we have come any closer to the answer in the past week. Based on the extensive search, it appears that she left the trail. Based on my hike, I don't think that someone would unintentionally leave the trail in that section--especially someone with that much experience--as the trail in my opinion was well marked.

    I do think that there was multitude of reasons, and several opportunities to leave the trail intentionally, e.g., via the old railway grade, Orbeton Stream Road, Mt. Abraham/Fire Warden Trail, Sugarloaf Base via Sugarloaf summit trail, Caribou Valley Road, etc. If she did leave the trail intentionally, and something went wrong, the search area is immense, likely over 100 square miles. There is no practical way to grid search that entire area, and based on the time since disappearance, and the colder weather beginning to set in, any searching would not likely have a happy result.

    The family appears to be accepting the situation somewhat--see EE's (Kit's) post above regarding the October 12th memorial service a few dozen miles from Springer Mountain. While I hoped to be finishing off Maine in mid-October, maybe I'll hike in Georgia instead. And during that weekend, perhaps find a little bit of peace regarding this very frustrating situation involving a fellow section hiker.

    As always, our prayers go out to Gerry's husband, her family, her loyal friends who went to extraordinary lengths to try to find her, and others who are seeking peace and comfort. Thank you all for your efforts.

  20. #1240
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    foul play.....

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