When You Find My Body- REVIEW

Full Title & Author:

When You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay On The Appalachian Trail

Written by D. Dauphinee

How I Came Across This Book:

I had previously heard that this book was in the works and of course, had heard about the tragedy of Geraldine “Inchworm” Largay having myself hiked the Appalachian Trail and specifically stayed at the shelter Largay was last photographed at. I had forgotten about the book until an email came in from the Appalachian Trail Association (ATC) advertising it for sale. By the time I asked my good trail dad Roub about it, he had already read it and sent it out my way.

First Thoughts:

My first thoughts going into the book were only my preconceived notions on what had happened to Largay. Ultimately I had a lot of questions. I thought back to my night at Poplar Ridge Shelter in Maine discussing Largay with Darwin and a few other hikers. I remembered hearing she had wandered off the trail looking for water. This didn’t make sense at the time seeing the water source directly in front of the shelter. I also remember discussing the rumor that she had gotten lost when wandering off-the trail to relieve herself. I couldn’t understand at the time how this could happen either, seeing that the woods were so dense in the area. I also couldn’t imagine getting too far off-trail due to the complexity of navigating through the area without a pack on let alone with one on as it was rumored Largay had done.

Long story short, I had a lot of questions and misinformation on what exactly happened to Largay. Even after reading this book, there are still a lot of questions that will never have answers but I do feel that I have a better understanding of what most likely happened and why.


This book was one of those that was a little hard to read but in a good way. Even if your not familiar with the Largay’s disappearance, you know the book doesn’t end exactly well by the title alone. That’s why I found it a little hard to read. You know the outcome and it hurts to learn a more personal perspective of Largay and of those parties involved in her search when no matter the efforts, she isn’t found alive.

If you are looking for the gory details of Largary’s last days and her journal entries, you’re going to be disappointed. The author D. Dauphinee presents Largary’s plight in a very tasteful way. He presents her story factually and that although tragic, leaves the reader room to learn and question their own preparedness when entering the woods for any reason. Dauphinee is good at not pointing fingers of blame at one individual or agency but does discuss the finger-pointing that did occur during the search and other conspiracy theories surrounding Largay’s disappearance.

Dauphinee having experience on a Search and Rescue Team does not waste time on what he would or would have not done differently either. Instead, he focuses the book on Largay; who she was, the people that felt deeply connected to her, and those who never met her but spent hours, days, months, and years looking for her.

The interviews and information Dauphinee presents on those who were involved with Largay’s search or that were questioned for further information regarding her personally provides an almost three-sixty perspective on the entire situation. Although specific information on Largay’s personal thoughts and actions can only be pieced together, Dauphinee presents a very logical and relatable scenario for what Largay was most likely going through.


I found this book to be incredibly well put together.  I have also been left questioning how prepared beyond just my gear, that I truly am when I enter the wilderness. Largay was lost and found before I ever hiked the AT, but I knew about her before, and I feel like I have a better understanding of her now. The sense of knowledge or even arrogance I felt before reading When You Find My Body, makes me feel ashamed.

The research and studies Dauphinee provides through the books puts the reader’s arrogance into check. It can be easy to judge Largay at first and point out all the things that you the reader would have done differently, but Dauphinee with experience backed up with studies and real-life examples, shows why a lost person may act a certain way, even perhaps run away from their would-be rescuers. This overall will make the reader really question themselves.

After reading,  I recognize I need further education on survival skills. I do however feel I have a better understanding of search and rescue. My perception of such operations was limited, however, now having read Dauphinee’s book I feel like I have a better grasp at the stress, planning, organization, dedication, and heartache that comes with involvement on a search and rescue team that I had never thought of before.

Overall, this book is a recommended read. Dauphinee presents Largary’s story in a way that is unaccusing and respectful, allowing the reader to learn, which I feel is exactly what Largary would have wanted. Regardless of your experience in backpacking or hiking, I think anyone would benefit from reading When You Find My Body.

book cover

You can get your own copy of When You Find My Body via the ATC Store Here or on Amazon via this link https://amzn.to/2l3XpcQ.

Don’t forget to check out your local library too!


A Few Other Book Reviews I’ve Done: 

The Dirtbag’s Guide to Life – Review

Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home – REVIEW




AZT Weekend

This past weekend was centered around the Arizona Trail (AZT). On Saturday I walked on the trail following it into Buffalo Park. Once there, I spent a good chunk of time helping out at Arizona Trail Day. I was assigned to help work at the merchandise booth selling hats, bandanas, socks, mugs, guides, etc. etc. etc.

I chatted it up with hikers, cyclists, volunteers, and those who just happened upon the event, all sharing in the love and excitement surrounding this one trail (and of course buying a few things to help support it)!

Sunday, I woke early and headed out to a section of the AZT where I met several other people. There under the arms of Aspens, we gathered to learn about trail assessment and management. With a very knowledgeable trail steward as our instructor, we then put our teachings into practice and worked on an area of the AZT needing water runoffs, to insure the trail was not flooded out during monsoons.

At the end of the day already feeling sore, I reviewed my weekend and was left feeling not a loss of time or energy spent, but a feeling of contentment and satisfaction. I had spent my weekend around incredible people, learning a small part of what it takes to make and sustain a trail. There are so many pieces of the long-distance trail puzzle that have to come together to make it complete. I was and am, in awe.


(The Run-Off I Helped Dig…It Was Super Hard Work For Such A Small Thing!)

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Last Week’s Post:

A Playground Full Of Trees And Meadows

A Playground Full Of Trees And Meadows

Hiking Trail

I have breathed in thin air or a lack of air really, hiking up to over 12,000 feet.


I felt the burn in my calves as I followed behind a friend, navigating a steep trail of lava rock above the tree line.


My throat turned to sandpaper as I attempted to take in air while talking and laughing high above the trees.


A buzz of oxygen-filled my body as I descended back down from Mount Humphreys and a rush of energy returned to my limbs.


Upon returning from this steep hike, I succumbed to a nap. My body challenged and energy used up by the end.

Riding Trail

The next day I attempted to recover from my hike with a ride on forest service roads and trail. My calves were still tender but willing to pedal.


My arms openly accepted the continuous impact and jolts of riding over rock and root; traveling from the wheel, to the handlebar, to arms.


I felt the slap of mud hit my skin shooting up from the wheels of my bike and was chilled by the rain shower that fell from a darkening sky. The cool wind reaching down into my bones.

Running Trail

Still seeking more from the outdoors, the following day I yet again ventured out. This time on foot. I urged my body to follow a trail under pines and high grasses; the rustling of the grass in the wind my music.


I felt the dirt and rock adjust to my weight as my trail runners hit each patch.


When I was finished, my legs were tinted with dust, streaked with routes of sweat. I carried the dust with me most of the day.


From both of these adventures, I was left changed. I felt I had experienced a cleansing of mental and physical states and yet after my body felt sore, used. I’m so grateful to have a body that is willing and usable; to be able to venture about in a playground full of trees and meadows. I’m so glad I can still find the joy in a rain shower and mud splatter, dirt and sweat. A childlike urning to play outside and not caring how unkempt this leaves me, keeps me wanting more even though my body doesn’t recover as easily.



(The Prince Veronica Looking Pretty By A Tree)

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Last Week’s Post:

A Trail Run Of Bad Decisions…

A Trail Run Of Bad Decisions…

Last weekend, I had planned a small five-mile run with a friend. Now, this was coming off a week of mostly hiking and not a lot of trail running but I was feeling optimistic about my abilities. The friend that I agreed to run with is in way better shape than me but again, I was feeling confident that I could hack it. I, of course, was wrong but not necessarily because of my lack of abilities, more for my lack of smart decisions.

So for you the reader to avoid making the same very stupid mistakes I did before going on a trail run with a friend who you know your already gonna have to push hard to keep up with…I have written the following bad decisions that resulted in a really bad trail run.


Bad Decision #1: Eating two delicious green chili chicken tacos the night before said run.


Bad Decision #2: Washing those two tacos down with an equally tasty beer and refraining from backing up the beer with water.


Bad Decision #3: This one arose the next morning when the green chili worked its magic on my GI tract. This one is a bad decision as I ignored this as a warning sign of what was to come.


Bad Decision #4: Insisting that I only needed caffeine before said run and still refraining from drinking water even after experiencing the effects Bad Decision #3.


Bad Decision #5: Not eating a little something after Bad Decision #3.


Bad Decision #6: Not being honest with myself or my friend that I was feeling a little “less than fresh” before hitting the trail.


Bad Decision #7: Not having water with me during the run.


Bad Decision #8: Ignoring the deflated feeling in my body a mile into the trail run.


Bad Decision #9: Pushing off the fact I had to stop constantly throughout the run to actually breathe convincing myself it was just that I couldn’t run and talk at the same time.


Bad Decision #10: Not turning around when I started feeling a little dizzy from the heat.


By the time we had returned to our starting point and ending at four and a half miles, I was completely wasted. My friend who had no idea I was feeling as bad as I was, was trying to talk to me before heading back to her car. I really couldn’t tell you what she was talking about as all I could hear was the loud ringing in my ears (another huge red flag I was not okay). By the time we parted ways, I felt the dizzy feeling again and the sudden bodily urge to puke and vacate my bowels at the same time.

An hour later after sipping on some water, eating a little, and sitting directly in front of a fan I was feeling a little more normal. The stupidity of my situation was clear to me only then as I lay on a cold hard floor, I was dehydrated and showing signs of heat exhaustion. How stupid could I have been? I knew better, but to save face in front of my friend (who because she is my friend would have been totally understanding if I would have walked the whole time or even just canceled) I set myself up for a dangerous situation.

Morals of this Story: Even those who have experience with an activity of some sort can still make stupid mistakes and be extremely stubborn about those mistakes. No matter what your experience level in something, ALWAYS listen to your instincts and your body. And, if you’re adventuring with a friend and you’re not feeling up to the challenge tell them! They are your friend and will understand!


IMG_2372 copy 2

(A Picture Taken On Park Of The Trail We Were On, Just Not The Same Day…)

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Last Week’s Post:

The Journey Around Mount Hood