Friday, May 7, 2021

2021 - 74 - The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America's Wildlands; Jon Billman

 

TITLE/AUTHOR The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America's Wildlands; Jon Billman

PUBLISHER: Hachette Audio

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2020

GENRE: Non Fiction / True Crime / Missing Persons

FORMAT:  audio download LENGTH: 11 hours  36 min.

SOURCE:  library download/

SETTING(s):  Northwest US


ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A fascinating collection of true life wilderness disappearances and the families left to wonder.

BRIEF REVIEW:   What an interesting collection of stories about individuals who have gone missing while hiking and biking alone.  The primary story involves the 2017 disappearance of Jacob Gray, a bicyclist who went missing around the Olympic National Forest. His father Randy never gave up hope or stopped looking for clues.  

Did you realize over 600,000 people go missing in the US each year? Most have chosen to disappear for various reasons yet, for those who have disappeared while hiking alone the chances of been found alive are often bleak. There is no database of people who go missing in National Parks and on other public lands. I found the many different ways searches are sometimes conducted quite impressive: park ranges, search dogs, volunteers, helicopters and even psychics.

All of the stories in this collection were from the West coast and felt personal in the way they were told. The audio book narrator, Stephen Graybill, was fantastic, the facts of the cases were so interesting to learn about.   I did feel that the book itself might have been easier to follow if were written as individual stories as this collection seemed to jump around quite a bit.  At times I felt confused especially when some of the stories ended a bit abruptly.   I'd would love to see another collection of stories about people gone missing on the East coast, perhaps along the Appalachian trail which runs from Maine to Georgia.   If you are someone who enjoys taking long hikes all by your lonesome, you might think again if you choose to read this book.  Overall I was happy that I tried to this one - fascinating stuff.

RATING:  4/5 stars

24 comments:

  1. As one who used to hike alone quite a bit, this does indeed give one pause. It is incredible that so many people go missing in such circumstances, not to mention rather depressing. One certainly feels for those left behind to wonder.

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    1. That would be the hard thing, those left behind to wonder. If I wanted to escape to a new life, I would definitely tell one person I felt I could trust where I was headed.

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  2. Those stories are always interesting and heartbreaking too.

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  3. I thought this was a fascinating. And also a bit heartbreaking...and puzzling, too. I just want to know what happened to all those people, you know?

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    1. I know, I did wonder if some left a trail but then took another path to just escape to a new life?

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  4. Is it wrong that I love stuff like this? We had a guy go missing here for over a month and his dog led the rescuers to him. Amazing.

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    1. No! It satisfies the wonder in me. I like to try and understand the appeal of some things in what draws people to something I have no interest in. I think the outdoors for many is a why to clear one's head or to ease anxiety but, I can find that same relief through a quiet place and a good book.

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  5. Sounds interesting but very sad. So many people go hiking without letting anyone know where they'll be. I never understood that.

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    1. Yes, how hard is it to tell someone where you are headed.

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  6. Sounds like a fascinating book...but, wow, 600,000 people annually going missing is mind-boggling. I wonder what the breakdown is between those who are doing it intentionally and those who have come to harm.

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    1. Yes, I'd be curious as well. I'm sure more than half have just wanted to escape for various reasons.

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  7. I am always amazed when someone goes alone into the wilderness. It just seems like they are asking for trouble. A colleague just went missing recently, but luckily they found him after a couple days and he is ok.

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    1. It is scary - some people like to live dangerously. It takes a certain personality. I was braver as a young person but, always a bit cautious about trying new things.

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  8. This sounds very sad but at the same time I think it would be interesting to read the efforts that go into rescues like these.

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    1. It was interesting and fascinating as well - just could have been organized better IMO

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  9. Wow, this book sounds fascinating ... and frightening! We used to go on long backpacking trips, but my hikes are pretty short these days.

    I hadn't heard about this book yet, so thanks for the review!

    Sue

    Book By Book

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  10. This book sounds very interesting, yet would probably add to my anxiety! It's amazing that over half a million people can just disappear every year. So unsettling.

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    1. Yes, I can't see someone who hikes alone wanting to read this one LOL

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  11. It seems a bit unsettling hiking alone ... recently a professor here age 59 went for a run by himself north of town and never came back .... he was killed by a bear apparently ... no one was with him. Seems another sad mystery.

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    1. OMG - how awful. The "great outdoors" has never been my thing. Give my a luxury hotel and sightseeing in a nice city LOL

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  12. I've gone on long bike rides or walks (not really hikes) while camping with my husband and I carry bear spray and a noise-making horn. The past few times, though, I thought maybe it wasn't such a good idea. What if I slipped and hurt myself and couldn't get a cell signal? There are obviously a lot of worse scenarios and believe me, they've cross my mind as I'm walking along, shooting pictures of birds and the scenery. It's just not worth it in the long run, I suppose. With that said, I did hike into the Grand Canyon by myself, but I was pretty much surrounded by dozens of other hikers and didn't feel at all in danger. I even met some people from Nebraska that knew a former co-worker! We chatted the whole way back up the trail, which was fun. With that said, I doubt I could read this book!

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    1. It seems safer when you know there were be more people around but, I'd worry about a fall and breaking something alone of some crazy person or animal attacking if the locale was isolate.

      I have a friend, my age who hikes alone, and had all of her tires flattened and car keyed on a multiple day hike - obviously they disagreed with her politically oriented bumper stickers at the time.

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