Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pinnacle Lake One Year Later

Hard to believe now that it has been one year since the horrific murders of two hikers on the Pinnacle Lake Trail last summer. I distinctly remember that day. It was a gorgeous July day when the news broke out. I remember all of the initial speculation. I remember driving to the Mildred Lakes Trail the next day and not getting this story out of my mind. I remember too that now we could never go back. My mountain playground had been tarnished.

I didn't know the two women that were murdered, but when something like this occurs in the hiking community-we all feel it. Sure there has been mayhem in the backcountry before. But for some reason this case struck a particular chord. Pinnacle Lake- in broad day light- with other hikers out and about. And sure it was off the Mountain Loop Highway, a place long known for sketchy characters and trailhead crime. But murder of innocent hikers? Preposterous. What is still so alarming to this case is that it is still unsolved.

Is the murderer still up there? Far away now? On another trail? Or was it like so many murders- a crime committed by someone who knew the two hikers? This would certainly put to rest the chance of more random attacks. Still, our trails remain fairly safe places to be on. Certainly far safer than most city streets. But as I hiked Pinnacle Lake last month-all alone-and thanks to a road washout now making this trail even lonelier-I couldn't keep this event off of my mind.

All the way up the rugged trail; I kept envisioning the crime. And I kept thinking what it must have been like to have your life abruptly ended in such an unexpected way. Just like it was for the Twin Towers workers on September 11, 2001. As I sat at the pretty lake I imagined too that the two women had no idea that this beautiful scene would be the last place they would ever hike to-and unbeknownst to them a murderer was on the trail just up ahead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Craig, don't think I know you, got here off Mike Fagin's site. Two weeks before the horrific murders I was up the trail at Big Four taking pictures, writing...on the way down I had an encounter with a male who would have hurt or killed me had I not been armed. I was alone & in all my years of hiking have never experienced anything remotely like it. I reported this incident to Snoho Sheriffs after the murders and was suprised they did not follow up (I thought they must have a suspect.) I'm thinking to call them back & thank you for your shattered something in me too & angered me at the insane violation of what is my cathedral of serenity.