|SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED in the four hours since the previous photo. At that spot on the sunny Tonto, Stan suddenly was overcome by heatstroke symptoms. A shady overhang was located, where we tried to cool him off. He was hot, then cold; his heart rate was erratic. In more than 20 previous canyon backpacking trips, he had never felt like this. We gave him Gatorade and aspirin. He was miserable, and he was gravely concerned; as a periodontist, he knows medicine inside out, and he knew this could turn fatal. (Doctors later determined he was experiencing muscle deterioration, which can cause kidney failure.) |
As Barb and Roger stayed, Joe and R.J. hiked back down to the camp at Boucher Creek for more water and ran into a backpacker named Richard Perry. What are the odds — he had a satellite phone! The park service was called, and a helicopter was dispatched. At the creek, Joe and R.J. watched from afar as the chopper located the party. (This photo was shot with a 10x zoom and then blown up some more.)
About half an hour after help arrived, Stan, hooked to a glucose IV and monitoring wires, was flown out. Barb, his wife, had to stay behind with us, but she knew he was improving and in good hands.
Photo © by Joe Hudson