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Family rescue proves people out west are different

December 12, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
People from the West are different from us eastern folks. I had to keep on reminding myself of that this week as I heard and read the tale of the family rescued after spending two days and nights including below-zero temperatures lost in the American outback.

I had to remind myself that it’s normal for some folks, maybe even here, but I don’t usually hear this, to take the family out to play in the snow. In my world, that used to mean a snowman or a snow fort and a snowball fight. Preferably in the back yard.

I know there are those for whom it means heading off snowmobiling. (I’m looking at my Rocky Mountain nephew but he’s got the camper, the snow machines and a couple of big-game heads mounted on the wall to prove serious mountain outdoor cred.)

But just piling the tots into the Jeep Wrangler and driving off into the desert is a bit foreign to me.

Apparently it wasn’t to the folks from the area around Lovelock, Nev., because nobody has questioned the sanity of the family. Indeed, the father has been credited with keeping his family safe.

Which prompted my immediate blurt, “To truly keep ‘em safe, you don’t pile ‘em into a convertible Wrangler and head out into the outback when the temperature is going to be below zero!”

But then, I reminded myself, people out West are different. Everybody didn’t just grow up where snow and ice fall from the sky on the backyard every day. People actually like the outdoors to be bigger than the 25 feet from my back door to my garage. I have to remember that.

Outdoors folks don't just go fishing once every couple of years when they knock the cobwebs off their fishing rods and drown worms at Tappan, the extent of my big outdoors experience the last few years.

So, I’m glad these folks and their kids were all rescued and are all in good condition.

I just hope the Jeep-ing skills get better so that next time, the family snow outing doesn’t end up with another overturned Wrangler and a couple nights in the frigid air.


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