On Wednesday, Feb 10, I wasn’t concerned about my husband Ken going out on a long walk despite the cold temperatures and, at 77, being almost totally blind from glaucoma.
His love of exploring trails, instilled in him since boyhood when he’d explore the wooded hills behind their family farm, remains strong.
Plus he is very familiar with the trails near our place as he and I have run and walked them for almost 20 years.
But when he hadn’t returned three hours later, I called him.
He told me he was lost in the woods and his phone had low battery power.
I ran out the door and on the trail he said he took but could not connect with him.
Our last phone contact was at 5:30, then his phone died.
A short time after calling 911, Deputy Brian Peterson and Captain Ben Stamper from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrived.
Due to the freezing temperatures and time being crucial, they determined search and rescue needed to be activated.
Volunteers on foot and ATVs were called in as were dogs and handlers.
At midnight, an overjoyed bloodhound named Jelly led his handler to a swamp where Ken, soaked and freezing, was elated to see them.
We are incredibly grateful to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the various search and rescue dogs and handlers and all the people who were a part of the successful efforts.
The skills, knowledge and resources of all involved are a gift to us all.