While we have been hearing over the years about how how Asian Americans don’t hike or visit national parks, it’s great to hear about Asian Americans who do hike. In this story about the the Eagle Creek fire, a hiker talks about an Asian American named Emily who unlike most of the hikers in the area, was extremely well prepared and helped many of the more than 140 hikers who were cutoff from easy escape by the fire. They had to stay overnight and embark on a 14 mile route to escape the flames. Says stranded hiker Merribeth Midtlyng:
“She was an Asian gal named Emily, just six years in the country, and she’d read the book ‘Wild’ and knew all the things to bring on a hike,” Midtlyng said. “She had a headlamp, food, shelter and water purifier and was so helpful to a lot of people, helping them get safe water to drink.”
I saw the movie Wild, but I don’t think that I could have helped anyone if I was there. The trail in the movie ends at the Bridge of the Gods across the Columbia river, and the fire started by some moron with fireworks is around that area. Some of the area near Multnomah Falls burned but is considered mostly unscathed. I visited the area a few years ago and found it strikingly beautiful. With the current hurricane disasters, the fires choking the Pacific Northwest are going unnoticed by many.
We have written a number of articles about how Asian Americans actually do hike. It’s good that “Emily” also likes to both read and hike, which benefited of some of those trap by the awful fire.