I was hiking yesterday with friends in Adams Canyon in Layton.  We were nearing the top when a kid ran past, headed down, blurting something out about," Had we seen the paramedics?"  He stopped barely long enough to get our answer.  Upon reaching the top we found a guy, maybe 15 years old, had slipped while climbing to see the waterfall from the top, falling over 40 ft.  A lady with medical training was seeing to him but was not optimistic about his chances.  He was unconscious and she felt he was fading fast and would not last long without further medical assistance.  It was only few minutes later that we got word that the life flight helicopter was en route.  Soon we could hear it.  The roar of the engines and blades was intense, reverberating off the walls of the narrow canyon.  Watching the helicopter ascending up the canyon, a tremendous dust cloud following it it's wake, was thrilling yet ominous, the reason for it's presence was all too clear in my mind.  After some maneuvering they lowered a paramedic down, unable to land, and raised the injured teen up to the the helicopter.
The news reports said there were four in their party, two girls and two boys.  One of the girls was in shock, shaking uncontrollably, repeating "it's all my fault".  I alerted a paramedic arriving on foot to her condition and was comforted at least that her physical needs would be taken care of.  On our way down we passed the first youth again, now headed back up, and he wasn't in much better shape.  His terror and apprehension were apparent.  He seemed to barely be holding back the tears.
The events of the evening have been running through my mind on repeat.  The faces of each of these people in sharp detail, the trauma of the shared moment that brought us together weaving so many questions.  I cried, later, frustrated and angry.  I know that suffering is part of life, necessary, and that it teaches us so many things.  But, oh it is hard to watch others suffer, to understand some of what they may be feeling.  We tried to help and support the best we could, but there is only so much that you can do.  That day was Hell for them.  I know what the accident meant to me.  A renewed awareness of the fragility of life, of the importance of supporting each other, and of the effect that our actions have on ourselves and others.  But I wonder what each of these friends and their families will see in this?  Will they hold in their feelings or will they be able to work through them?  Will they be bitter and turn inward, or will it help them see the wonder of each day that they live?
On the drive home I was so grateful that I had ridden there with a friend, as it gave me someone to talk it through with.  And likewise later, at home, with my wife.  For listening ears and comforting touch, for feeling the presence of our fellow travelers in life.  To know that you’re not alone.
I don’t know yet how this incident will shape my life but memories like that can’t help but have an impact.

I found out that the hiker died the following day.

Posted by Lucas Jones On 9/01/2013 02:12:00 PM No comments

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