One of the truisms about living in the Great Northwest is that wherever you are, it doesn’t take long to get out into the mountains. Whether we’re from here or migrated here, we crow about the natural beauty and adventure that surround us.
When most of us venture out into that wilderness we do some basic preparation. We check the weather. We gear up. We mark our trail in some way, so that we’ll find our way back. We don’t expect the worst.
But for all our preparation and carefulness, sometimes the worst happens. In that moment, the thought of which we all dread somewhere in the back of our minds: Who might be there to rescue us?
One of the greatest, yet least heralded, elements of our region is the network of search and rescue volunteers who aid others when they most need help. The situations they enter into are sometimes extremely uncomfortable and often dangerous.
They do this while they could be, like most of us, relaxing in the comfort of our home. Why? It’s complicated.
Bree Loewen is such a volunteer. She also happens to be a talented writer. Her new book is “Found: A Life in Mountain Rescue.” She spoke at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center at Magnuson Park on June 7, as part of the “Be Wild” series.
Listen to the full version below: