Who: Will Henderson, 39-year-old biology teacher
What: Found after being lost
Where: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Why: went off the trail
Local high school biology teacher rescued from Appalachian Trail
A local high school biology teacher was found Tuesday after being lost for four days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a broken leg.
Will Henderson, 39, had been hiking on the popular Appalachian Trail, a 2,190 mile trail, when he decided to step off near Gregory Bald. After attempting to cross a stream, he slipped and broke his leg. He made a make-shift splint with sticks and string.
After four days of crawling, he made it back to the AT and was found by two hikers. He was then rushed to the hospital in Knoxville. Currently, he is back home recuperating at local Lynchburg Hospital.
“I never doubted that I would be found. I got discouraged sometimes, but I figured that I had plenty of food and thought that if I could get back to a trail-particularly the main Appalachian Trail because it’s so busy-somebody would come along before long,” Henderson said.
Henderson was lucky that he knew what to do because the Smoky Mountains are known to have thick foliage.
“The mountain foliage was like a jungle. If I had stayed where I was when I fell, I probably would still be there,” Henderson said.
Henderson has developed quite an intuition as he has been hiking since he was 10-years-old. He is also a member of the National Hiking Association. This goes to show that even the most experienced of hikers can still make mistakes.
“I broke the first rule of hiking, of course. I hiked alone. When you get off the beaten track-that’s when you need to be with somebody. I learned my lesson about that,” Henderson said.
Henderson hopes that his leg can heal so that he can fulfill his goal of hiking the trail in its entirety.
I would include a map that would demonstrate where he went off the trail and where he crawled back to the trail. It would be an info-graph that wherever the mouse hovered over there would be a picture of what the area looked like. Thus, the reader would be able to see what Henderson had to crawl through and how far of a journey he had to encounter. There could also be a picture of the splint that he made.