Vail Daily letter: Thank you for rescue effort |

Vail Daily letter: Thank you for rescue effort

Laraine and Jim Nelson
Estes Park, CO Colorado

As two of the members of the family of backpacker James Nelson who last was seen in Holy Cross Wilderness on Oct. 3, we would like to thank the many people in Eagle County who searched for James on our behalf. Since over a thousand man-hours of search and rescue were given and we don’t know all the names of everyone who assisted, we hope the selfless souls out there who left jobs to search or to assist us in other ways will know how much we appreciate your efforts.

In addition to those we know only as angels of mercy, we would like to recognize some of the professionals whose names we do know. Dan Smith, who led the search and rescue; Steve Zuckerman, who managed it; and Tim Cochrane, who founded it, ran an amazing, effective and extraordinary operation. The fact that they and all the members of Vail Mountain Rescue are volunteers only makes this service more remarkable.

We must also mention Sheriff Hoy, Ann Thompson, Patrol Sgt. Bob Silva and Master Deputy Dan Hansen for their many long hours spent on this baffling case. Having Sheriff Hoy and other Vail personnel drive us up the rutted road to the top of Vail Mountain so that we could see Holy Cross Wilderness area was an especially moving experience. They and Ann provided a great deal of comfort to the family, and we know we were in trusted hands with them.

The important spiritual assistance provided by Pastor Scott Beebe and Deacon Steve Baird, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, was particularly helpful to all of us. In the beautiful Interfaith Chapel in Edwards, they gave us balm for our souls. We hope to join Pastor Scott next year in a pilgrimage back to Notchtop to see Holy Cross and remember what’s happened there.

Acknowledgments are also due for the Main St. Grill, who brought us a free dinner, and the Riverwalk Inn, who housed us at reduced rates. Your kindness was deeply appreciated.

As “out-of-towners” and residents of Estes Park, we so appreciate all the residents of Eagle County and elsewhere who supported in any way this rescue effort. We have insufficient words to express how deep our gratitude goes.

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