The Journal Pioneer
I am blessed with many wonderful followers. It’s quite incredible, but over the years, you have reached out with comments from every corner of the country, across the continent and as far away as France.
Some of you have friends or relatives in Atlantic Canada and like to stay in touch by subscribing to SaltWire Network’s online newspapers. Let me thank you for supporting local journalism and the talented journalists who tell your stories with passion and integrity.
I digress. I have one regular contributor who lives in the state of Maine. Craig Kennedy is a ranger at Baxter State Park. He tells me he follows my weather because my New Brunswick forecast is quite accurate for his corner of the state. I’m glad that he does; Craig is often up before dawn and out in all kinds of weather. He freely shares some stunning vistas that many of us would not otherwise have the pleasure of experiencing.
Earlier this week, Craig wrote me a letter after reading last Saturday's column about hurricane Ginny - a late-season hurricane that brought heavy snow to Maine and parts of central and northern New Brunswick.
Cindy, I’m glad you wrote the story.
On Oct. 29 1963, Baxter State Park lost their first ranger attempting to rescue a stuck hiker on its Knife Edge. I had heard that the storm on the mountain was a hurricane, but had no details of what or where the storm hit. Ranger Heath had been working hard on mountain trails that day when he met up with one of the two hikers, who told him that a hiker was stuck on the Edge. Ranger Heath climbed to within shooting distance of the stranded hiker but needed more equipment and help. Returning to Chimney Pond camp, Ranger Heath and the other hiker prepared to try again in the morning with more equipment and backup from fellow rangers.
During the night as Ranger Heath was trying to sleep and rest, the wind opened and slammed the screen door of the camp in such a way that Ranger Heath decided to head out into the stormy night for the stranded hiker, never to return. Both bodies (found together) spent the winter on the mountain and were recovered in the spring.
As a country boy/ranger, the slamming of the screen door, in this story, haunts me.
I know it’s not the happiest story but, on this, the anniversary of the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in Canada – category 2 Ginny in 1963 - it’s a reminder; a sobering reminder of how quickly our weather can turn and how dangerous it can be if you’re not prepared. First responders, rescue workers and dedicated people like Ranger Heath put their lives at risk every day to save others.
Let’s make sure we’re prepared for the elements when we venture out to explore the stunning vistas that our little piece of paradise has to offer.
Thank you for sharing this Craig; keep up the great work and stay safe.
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network