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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent

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Ray52

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2010, 02:06:55 PM »
My copy arrived in yesterday's mail (thank you FSB) and I just finished reading it.  Most of the stories happened before my first visit to the park in 2006 so I knew little or nothing of them.  I most often hike alone, and there's always a last minute attempt to lighten my bulging backpack, but many of these incidents reinforce the knowledge that the extra items might come in very handy and is well stated by the author in the last paragraph of the summary.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2010, 03:02:08 PM »
I just ordered my copy from Front Street Books.  Looking forward to reading it!

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Offline lparent

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2010, 05:45:53 PM »
I think the book is now available on Amazon.  And of course Front Street has the book--a good local vendor.  The BBNHA stores in the park should have it soon.

I'm glad you like the cover.  I like it, too, in a morbid sort of way.  A departure from my usual work.  By the way, that is a real skull.  A former hiker that unfortunately was unable to read my book before it came out.  Might have saved his life.  Seriously, it's good to have a wife with a friend in the Texas State University anthropology department that was willing to loan me a skull.

I would say that there was only one incident I remember that was completely no-fault on the part of victim.  On the other hand, in the incidents where what happened was due at least in part to the actions of the victims, bad luck almost always played a major role.  I've done long hikes in winter where I wasn't carrying enough clothes for a sudden snow storm.  I've done hikes where I didn't carry enough water.  I've done long hikes in the heat.  In just the right circumstances, I might have been a victim, just like some of the people in the book.  These days I'm more likely to carry extra water, food, clothes, space blankets, and the like.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2010, 08:51:29 AM »
The BBNHA stores in the park should have it soon.

BigBendBookstore.or g on the web now offers the book.  If you are in the park, it is available at PJ, P-Gap, and the Basin.

Jim

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Offline DJ

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2010, 07:32:02 AM »
I ordered my copy from Front Street and received a shipping notice the same day. I highly recommend them.
Tranquility, solitude, serenity...

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2010, 08:37:54 AM »
There's at least a handful of times, while hiking/driving in the Bend I could have wound up in your book.   The first time, the temps just had to be about 20 degrees higher, and I would have been cooked somewhere by Banta Shut-In.  The other time on the OML, if I hadn't listened to my gut, there would have been serious consequences.  And once, my car overheated on the Basin Road.  If that had of happened just about an hour earlier on Black Gap, we would have been in serious trouble.  It is hard realize, without experience, how quickly you can get into trouble before you even know it.

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Offline jim2

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2010, 04:42:56 PM »
my copy arrived yesterday, also from front street books. hard to put down.

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Offline TexasAggieHiker

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2010, 02:30:30 PM »
I received and finished my copy this weekend.  Great read!!  It's been a while since I read a book that I couldn't put down like this one.  Thank you to Front Street and Laurence. 

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Offline lparent

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2010, 10:24:27 PM »
I'm glad that everyone is liking the book.  If it keeps even one person from doing something stupid or careless, I'll feel well-rewarded.  I just got back from climbing a couple of fourteeners in Colorado.  For all of you stuck down here in Texas in August, I have to tell you it was a lot cooler up there.  In fact, I could only stay on one peak summit for about 20 minutes--a cold wind was chilling me down fast even wearing fleece and a Gore-tex shell.  I do try to follow my own advice, especially after writing the Big Bend book.  I did have a space blanket, lighter, wind pants, gloves, and other items with me.  Rather than put on the extra clothes, though, I did something even better.  Storms were building, so I got the heck down the mountain.  I didn't want to be the subject of someone else's book.

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Offline Al

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2010, 10:49:31 PM »
I'm glad that everyone is liking the book.  If it keeps even one person from doing something stupid or careless, I'll feel well-rewarded.  I just got back from climbing a couple of fourteeners in Colorado.  For all of you stuck down here in Texas in August, I have to tell you it was a lot cooler up there.  In fact, I could only stay on one peak summit for about 20 minutes--a cold wind was chilling me down fast even wearing fleece and a Gore-tex shell.  I do try to follow my own advice, especially after writing the Big Bend book.  I did have a space blanket, lighter, wind pants, gloves, and other items with me.  Rather than put on the extra clothes, though, I did something even better.  Storms were building, so I got the heck down the mountain.  I didn't want to be the subject of someone else's book.

The "stuck in Texas" phase kind of gets to me.  Having been born and raised in Texas, perhaps we are 150+ years late in our invasion of "Colorado"!  But you know what?  That guy at the front of the line of cars winding their way up the Colorado mountain road is probably a Texan.  He's the guy going, "My goodness, where are the guardrails!"  I have met at least one Texan who wonders if we gave away the farm when we joined the union.   

Pre-1836 map of Texas from the University of Texas:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/atlas_texas/texas_land_grants.jpg

Al
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 11:00:35 PM by Al »

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Offline iCe

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2010, 08:05:15 AM »
I lived in Colorado for a few years. It was back in the late 80's when the front range north of Denver had only a few little towns between the mountains and I-25. It was a good place to live back then. By the 90's housing prices had quadrupled and the front range was seemingly one big housing development. Colorado had been "discovered" much to the chagrin of the natives...


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Offline iCe

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #41 on: August 15, 2010, 10:33:41 AM »
I like Taos... It has a good feel to it but I can tell that it has been "influenced" over the years.

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Offline jim2

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #42 on: August 15, 2010, 11:26:18 AM »
the Douglas Pappas story has me thinking. a hiker passed him and noticed he wasn't prepared. i too have passed people i thought weren't prepared and at least a couple on the way too and from cattail falls that might have in trouble.  next time i am going to offer water, and see if they are ok.  c.t. falls attracts a lot of what i call nos. no hat , no sunglasses, no boots, no pack, no water!

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Offline iCe

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2010, 11:49:42 AM »
I think that's a good plan... although..when I hiked back to the confluence of the Red and Green rivers in Canyonlands Needles I was "hiking light" (because I didn't plan to hike, I didn't bring any gear. Actually... I didn't "plan" to go to Needles either) with just a camera and two liters of water (I had the right clothes, shoes, glasses, and hat... just no pack to carry enough water). Technically speaking I had enough water because I finished the hike and took my last drink about 300 yards from the end... but that was because I babied the rest of the water on the way back. I met a guy coming out at around the 1/2 way point and he mentioned that I needed more water (didn't offer any). However... it sure would have been nice to have my Camelbak and those water bottles tucked away in a pocket rather than having to carry them all those miles.

the Douglas Pappas story has me thinking. a hiker passed him and noticed he wasn't prepared. i too have passed people i thought weren't prepared and at least a couple on the way too and from cattail falls that might have in trouble.  next time i am going to offer water, and see if they are ok.  c.t. falls attracts a lot of what i call nos. no hat , no sunglasses, no boots, no pack, no water!

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Death in Big Bend by Laurence Parent
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2010, 10:55:50 AM »
the Douglas Pappas story has me thinking. a hiker passed him and noticed he wasn't prepared. i too have passed people i thought weren't prepared and at least a couple on the way too and from cattail falls that might have in trouble.  next time i am going to offer water, and see if they are ok.  c.t. falls attracts a lot of what i call nos. no hat , no sunglasses, no boots, no pack, no water!
I just returned from a 10 day trip to Yosemite backcountry and Bishop/Palisades area with my daughter.  I took this book with me--and finished the dadgum thing before I even got to California!  Very good book.  I like the way it is written, with obvious lessons.

Regarding helping folks, I've thought about this a lot and cannot agree.  If they are in obvious mortal danger, I of course would.  But if they are just being stupid--well, more than half of those in the parks fall into that category.  I am not taking on that responsibility.  Do I then also have to question the person about every aspect of their planning and equippage to make sure they meet my standard?  I don't think so.  Moreover, I've found that most of my best lessons are the hard-won type.  I'm sorry, but the vast majority of the folks I run into in the parks are (a) ignorant--i.e., my friendly and helpful advice would not be recognized as being helpful, and (b) arrogant--i.e., my friendly and helpful advice wouldn't be appreciated even if understood.

If someone asks for help, of course I will bend over backwards, but that has happened a handful of times during my years in the outdoors.

 


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