The fourth exhausting day comes to a close. Rough going and the wet cold tests the limits of patience and human endurance for misery and anxiety.
And it feels like all the oxygen has been sucked out of the air.
In spite of that, every hour is marked by remarkable good nature and kindness. The entire crew resilient and uncomplaining; steadfast determination and a brilliant spirit of cooperation prevails.
A pit-crew of indomitable aunties serve up fantastic hot food and fresh coffee out of a camper. Everybody had a good laugh when the pot of beans lit on fire. A truck rolls in with a box of groceries and a platter of cold cuts. Another unloads a case of bottled water. Everywhere – laughter, a joke and a hug.
The State Troopers responsive and concerned. Quietly mounting an astonishing effort with a handful of men.
Covering miles around Turnagain Pass and out to the inlet on ATVs, backed up by the helicopter’s sweeps from Granite Creek down Six Mile Creek.
We know they are on it, because one of them saw Val’s big sister at the gas station and doubled back to identify her.
But some crazy woman on the Sterling Highway seems to need them more than we do.
We have more area to cover and could use more people.
Valerie’s boyfriend is present and active. Here’s what Grandpa had to say: treat him like family.