Helaine and I were on our way down Sleeping Giant after our hike to the top when she complained about her glasses. “I really can’t see the rocks,” she said. Probably glare. I told her we should look for polarized lenses.
We will now.
A few minutes later she tripped on one of those rocks she couldn’t see and fell forward to the rock strewn path. Both her elbows were bloody as was the heel of her right hand. Her cheek was a little red–it had scraped the ground.
“I need to sit down,” she said. So we headed to the side of the trail where she sat on a convenient small boulder with a flattened top. She was a little nauseous–a little woozy.
She sat for a few minutes until two young women came by, asking if there was anything they could do. By this time I was concerned, so I left Helaine with them and began to run down the mountain. I would later find out the young women were nursing students from Yale. I can’t begin to thank them enough.
It’s the Friday before the 3-day Columbus Day weekend. I got to the ranger station and found vehicles, but no people. Like an idiot I walked through the parking lot next to the station yelling, “”Ranger!”
There was an emergency number on the door. I pulled out my cellphone and called the DEP dispatcher. A little less than five minutes later an officer (Officer Wirth, I think) in an ECON POLICE car drove up.
He opened the ranger station, went to the garage and attempted to fire up a little utility vehicle so we could drive to Helaine. Wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh… nothing. Wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh… nothing. Wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh… nothing. The motorized cart finally did start just as I began to panic.
By the time we got to Helaine on the trail she was on her feet and walking down with the nursing students. She was feeling a little better. Still, she got into the cart and drove the rest of the way to our car.
She’s home right now watching the Phillies. She’s got a headache, feels a little sore and has bandages on her elbows and hand, She’ll be OK. We’ll probably be back walking on the mountain before the weekend is up.
When you love someone you worry about them. I worried about Helaine.
We are both grateful to the three strangers who took the time to help us out.