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Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent

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Offline Moose

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Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« on: August 07, 2019, 06:24:29 PM »
I am a NOOB on this site and to BBNP.   I visited BBNP for first time this past May 2019 and have been engrossing myself with everything about BBNP since
including a second visit this year.

I purchased the book Death In Big Bend by L. Parent although it seemed somewhat strange to me to read a book about different individuals death's.
I have to say for me personally it was a well written book.   It kept me interested throughout.   Each chapter set the stage from the beginning, 
then it went thru and told the story without a lot of fluff and then wrapped up each chapter to close.    I would recommend the book.   

My main reason making this post   (I have read the other reviews and trailing discussions)   is that there were two big things the book made me aware of that I never considered.......


1.)  how potentially easy it is for one to get into a situation at BBNP regardless of if they thought they were prepared or simply careless.
2.)  how knowledgeable, organized, prepared & dedicated the park rangers were described in the book.

observation #1 has been discussed all over and can have ten opinions from a group of 4 people talking about it.   lol.

observation #2 surprised me.   very interesting.  Do these rangers have a checklist when hired to hike every trail, know every crook and cranny of the park,  and sign
a waiver to risk life and limb for others?   In my ignorance I assumed they are individuals that love the outdoors,  work in the park patrolling for minor visitor violations, 
maintain park grounds/facilities and assist visitors with directions/camping paperwork. 

after reading the book they are super heroes.   Organizing rescues in the middle of the nite,  hauling rescue equipment thru tough terrain,  ushering mules thru mountains for evacuation,
following footprints days old in the sand to located someone,  securing a scene overnite in the desert and lastly reviewing every incident afterwards to make any improvements
to try and keep all visitors  (prepared and unprepared)  safe.   TWO THUMBS UP to you lady and gentlemen rangers.

It would be an interesting read  (maybe it is out there,  IDK)  to see what goes into the training of a park ranger at BBNP.

M

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 08:02:55 PM »
Very good review of a very good book.  There are certainly some unsung heroes working through out the park, waiting for their call.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app


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Offline marufo

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Re: Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 08:40:35 PM »
BTW, the publisher of Death in Big Bend has shut down. I believe Laurence is looking for another publisher, but in the meantime you might hold onto and take care of your copies...

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2019, 09:42:54 PM »
BTW, the publisher of Death in Big Bend has shut down. I believe Laurence is looking for another publisher, but in the meantime you might hold onto and take care of your copies...

 :icon_eek:  Thanks for the heads-up, Marufo.
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 09:46:49 PM »
Moose, I don't know if you saw this, but here's a story ripped straight from the headlines.  A top-notch ranger kept me from appearing in the next edition of Laurence's book.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/how-i-spent-my-summer-sar-the-oml-in-a-day/
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline miatarchy04

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Re: Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 05:42:51 AM »
It does "seem somewhat strange to read a book about different individuals death's," but in fact Death in Big Bend is part of series of books on deaths in National Parks. There are multiple editions of Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon and Death in Yellowstone. There is also Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite. These books all have different publishers so this is a genre rather than a planned series of books.  I found Parent's book to be an interesting catalog of "how things can and do go wrong" and much more effective as a teaching tool than a list of "do's and don'ts". Kinda like those gruesome films they showed us in drivers ed. years ago.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Book: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 06:35:43 AM »

2.)  how knowledgeable, organized, prepared & dedicated the park rangers were described in the book.

observation #1 has been discussed all over and can have ten opinions from a group of 4 people talking about it.   lol.

observation #2 surprised me.   very interesting.  Do these rangers have a checklist when hired to hike every trail, know every crook and cranny of the park,  and sign
a waiver to risk life and limb for others?   In my ignorance I assumed they are individuals that love the outdoors,  work in the park patrolling for minor visitor violations, 
maintain park grounds/facilities and assist visitors with directions/camping paperwork. 

after reading the book they are super heroes.   Organizing rescues in the middle of the nite,  hauling rescue equipment thru tough terrain,  ushering mules thru mountains for evacuation,
following footprints days old in the sand to located someone,  securing a scene overnite in the desert and lastly reviewing every incident afterwards to make any improvements
to try and keep all visitors  (prepared and unprepared)  safe.   TWO THUMBS UP to you lady and gentlemen rangers.

It would be an interesting read  (maybe it is out there,  IDK)  to see what goes into the training of a park ranger at BBNP.

M

A couple of thoughts on the ranger part.  Yes they are well trained and have lots of protocol on how to handle search and rescues.  It has been a few years since I read the book but my memory is many of the stories featured many of the same very seasoned rangers, like Marco Paredes who is/was (now retired) one of the great long term Big Bend rangers, so the organized reactions to a SAR would be very similar.  The other thing is Parent worked closely with the NPS staff to get the stories and details so he would of course cast them in a good way.  I do like that each story has a postmortem on how it all went down.
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