A DL mystery to kill time as we await the elec... No, it's actually to kill time while we wait for someone to start a Dyatlov Pass thread.
[quote]A Nameless Hiker and the Case the Internet Can’t Crack
[quote]The man on the trail went by “Mostly Harmless." He was friendly and said he worked in tech. After he died in his tent, no one could figure out who he was.
[quote]IN APRIL 2017, a man started hiking in a state park just north of New York City. He wanted to get away, maybe from something and maybe from everything. He didn’t bring a phone; he didn’t bring a credit card. He didn’t even really bring a name. Or at least he didn’t tell anyone he met what it was.
[quote]He did bring a giant backpack, which his fellow hikers considered far too heavy for his journey. And he brought a notebook, in which he would scribble notes about Screeps, an online programming game. The Appalachian Trail runs through the area, and he started walking south, moving slowly but steadily down through Pennsylvania and Maryland. He told people he met along the way that he had worked in the tech industry and he wanted to detox from digital life. Hikers sometimes acquire trail names, pseudonyms they use while deep in the woods. He was “Denim” at first, because he had started his trek in jeans. Later, it became “Mostly Harmless,” which is how he described himself one night at a campfire. Maybe, too, it was a reference to Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Early in the series, a character discovers that Earth is defined by a single word in the guide: harmless. Another character puts in 15 years of research and then adds the adverb. Earth is now “mostly harmless.”
[quote]By summer, the hiker was in Virginia, where he walked about a hundred miles with a 66-year-old woman who went by the trail name Obsidian. She taught him how to make a fire, and he told her he was eager to see a bear. On December 1, Mostly Harmless had made it to northern Georgia, where he stopped in a store called Mountain Crossings. A veteran hiker named Matt Mason was working that day, and the two men started talking. Mostly Harmless said that he wanted to figure out a path down to the Florida Keys. Mason told him about a route and a map he could download to his phone. “I don’t have a phone,” Mostly Harmless replied. Describing the moment, Mason remembers thinking, “Oh, this guy’s awesome.” Everyone who goes into the woods is trying to get away from something. But few people have the commitment to cut their digital lifelines as they put on their boots.
[ ... ]
[quote]Six months later and 600 miles south, on July 23, 2018, two hikers headed out into the Big Cypress National Preserve. The humidity was oppressive, but they trudged forward, crossing swamps, tending aching feet, and dodging the alligators and snakes. About 10 miles into their journey, they stopped to rest their feet at a place called Nobles Camp. There they saw a yellow tent and a pair of boots outside. Something smelled bad, and something seemed off. They called out, then peered through the tent’s windscreen. An emaciated, lifeless body was looking up at them. They called 911.