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Front Page » June 19, 2007 » Opinion » Rantings and Ravings
Published 2,681 days ago

Rantings and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate reporter

So I am writing this as I float down the river. We just ran the rapid at Jack Creek on the Green River. Not much water here, lots of rock showing.

I have seen about 10 blue heron so far and there were bear tracks on one of the beaches we stopped at to pick up trash.

Okay, I didn't really write this while floating down the river, but the technology exists and is affordable enough that I could have done it. Right now while you read this, I will be on the river, but I did not take the laptop and my cell phone is at home.

I am almost disconnected. We have a satellite phone on board for emergencies, but checking into the office is not one. It is harder and harder for some people to really disconnect any more.

True, the technology that has allowed people to carry their cell phones into wild areas and call for help has saved lives. It has also provided prime time drama for television. But I feel like it has made it less frightening for some to go into situations less prepared than they should.

When help is perceived as a phone call away then is the wilderness near as wild?

Experience is more than a GPS device and a boatload of REI gear. Accidents happen to even the most knowledgeable among us, but they are less likely to be the type that could have been avoided.

As more and more people flock to get a taste of the wild, counties are having to grapple with the growing expense of search and rescue. Carbon county is not as hard hit as places like Emery, Grand and Wasatch counties, but it all takes its toll.

No one with even half a conscious would think about not providing rescue services to someone in need. These services are provided at no charge to those being rescued. Each person gets the same amount of effort, whether they were the victim of bad fate or their own stupidity.

If people had to help defray the cost of rescue would it make a difference? Maybe it would keep someone from calling for help because they were afraid they couldn't afford the cost. It would be tragic if a life was lost because of a financial decision.

Would you charge more for human error than for random act of nature? Who would decide which is which?

Anyway, if you are going out this summer, be prepared. Even if it is 90 degrees during the day, you might want to consider packing a jacket if you are going to be in a place you might get stranded.

Water, water and more water for desert treks is a rule chiseled in stone. Matches, flashlights, energy bars and a few other small essentials could make the difference between survival and doom.

And thanks ahead of time to the local search and rescue volunteers who are ready at a moments notice to come out and help. They give of their time and equipment to make sure we all come home.

Well almost time for camp for the evening. Hope there's no bear track on this beach.


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June 19, 2007
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