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We've seen this movie before. Or versions of it. Sometimes it's a comedy. Sometimes it's a drama. It depends on how the plot twists.

When a former reporter for this paper, Matthew Cate, got lost overnight in the Ozarks back in 2009, using his phone as a flashlight, discovering that all trees look alike, and hearing big things breathing around him in the dark--and seeing rescue teams suit up as he finally came out of the briar patch the next morning--it made for a great column in ActiveStyle. When journalists Cathy Frye and her husband Rick McFarland were lost for days in the hot Big Bend state park in Texas back in 2013, it was a cliff-hanger that left many of us crying--in relief.

These things happen in the great outdoors. And the outdoors in Arkansas are greater than most.

Once again, a lost-and-found story made the papers. You'd think there'd be more such, as folks take to the nature trails these covid-19 days. Movie theaters are mostly shut, and there are only so many games of Yahtzee to be played.

But you've got to be careful when hiking, as two ladies found out earlier this week. Or as our reporter writes:

"The Baxter County sheriff's office was notified around 9 p.m. Tuesday a 49-year-old and a 30-year-old woman had gone hiking in the forest near Cook Road. The pair had left their home in Big Flat earlier in the day, authorities said, and texted the 49-year-old's husband in the evening they were lost and needed help."

Pandemic or not, rescuers sprang into action. Folks from multiple agencies searched for hours until the ladies were found. As it got dark, one of them must have had a bright idea to build a fire. And that is ultimately what ended up helping rescuers find them.

The Baxter County Sheriff's Office sent a helicopter up into the night sky, and those whirlybird pilots spotted the fire and guided ground teams to rescue the women.

The happy ending to the story is they were pulled out of the forest around 2 a.m. on Wednesday unharmed. That these two were found without a scratch on them is nothing less than a blessing. As the old folks at home say, they must be living right.

And kudos to the rescuers who combed the forest for hours to find these ladies. Talk about essential workers.

Editorial on 05/22/2020

Print Headline: Over the river and...


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