Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Man Who Walked Into the Mountain
For instance, he buys a sleeping bag and tent, but does not take them when he apparently left his vehicle at Newfound Gap, one of the highest sites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and where the Appalachian Trail and other hiking paths thread through.
Lueking had gathered several park maps, but he left them in his white Ford Escape at Newfound Gap.
He had no history, according to his sister, as an avid camper, but suddenly he goes off into the mountain wilderness apparently alone.
A handwritten note found in his vehicle and addressed to no one indicates he does not want to be searched for, but it cannot be determined if Lueking wrote it.
This story is very odd. An extensive search is underway in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but that is a lot of ground to cover. I know the parking lot where his car is, it straddles the Tennessee-North Carolina line.
I have a friend where several people from her church (Three Rivers) are out looking. She has promised to give me updates. I wish I wasn't leaving town this weekend or I would head up to help.
In an unrelated story, another man is also missing, not too far from Newfound Gap. He left a note described as "despondent" in his car, however, so they are releasing his name. Pray for him as well - don't worry, God knows who he is.
And the families of these men. The combination of grief, despair, frustration - all while trying to maintain hope - has to be crushing.