First there were the two hikers who climbed up on the Falling Waters Trail while the weather forecast was screaming for snow and high winds. One is still alive; the other was frozen as solid as a board and dead when the search and rescue people got to their bodies on Little Haystack, not too far from the relative safety of the trees.
Then came the woman who was hiking up Falling Waters with three members of her family when a large rock broke loose, came crashing down, and she died after being hit by it.
This weekend a body was retrieved, after a three-day search and rescue effort, after a Massachusetts man decided to come north to take his own life. His car was parked at the Liberty Spring trail head parking lot. It is the trail preceding the Falling Waters Trail from the south. I’m not sure how far up the trail he was when the dog sniffed out his body. All the deaths have occurred within minutes from where Atticus and I live.
These mountains are beautiful but harsh. At least this time they didn’t take a life, they just gave the man a place to end his own.
My thoughts are with his family and with those rescue workers who found his corpse.
An article about this man’s death can be found here in the Union Leader.
"They've been here for three whole days," said Ted Merri- man. "Fish and Game was here leading these volunteers all night to find my brother. How do you say thanks for that?" A search for Dan Merriman began late Friday, after the despondent man sent an e-mail to his family, telling them that he was heading to the White Mountains, where he had often hiked, and that he would end his life.