may have lost someone on the annual New Year’s Hike along the Eno River.
Our friends, Lee Landers and her son Bryon, called us and encouraged us to join them on the hike on this mild winter’s day. We are glad to join them. The weather here was in the 60s and clear so when we got to the hike site there were already over 100 others ready to go. There were three walks to choose from: a children’s walk, a 1.5 mile walk to Buckquarter Creek and a longer more strenuous hike of about 4 miles up Cox Mountain. We choose the last knowing that Cox Mountain is only about 600 ft above sea level and just a couple of hundred feet up from the river. But I had forgotten just how steep that rise could be. We crossed the swinging bridge over the River and headed up. Our crowd was over 100 people. Most all of us were panting by the time we reached the top of the Mountain. Up ahead of us a group of people were cluster around a guy on the ground. His face was purple and someone was beating on his chest. We called for a medical person but no one was in the crowd. The hike leader pulled out his radio and called for help. We were urged to walk on rather than crowd around and did. About 30 minutes later the Emergency Trucks were trying to drive along the trail which goes much too close to the River and across some rocks in ways that make a good part of it unpassable. Then rescue guys on a gator came by. I think they made it to the man. As we ended our hike we saw the helicopter carrying him off. The gossip, and this is no more than gossip, is that he had to be hit with the defibrillator several times but that he did have a pulse as he left.