Tom's Corner

The Minor News- an Alaskan daily paper:

By Tom Irons

Dateline 26 July 2021

       Interior Alaska- State police today announced the discovery of skeletal remains of two hikers. Found in the Kern Creek drainage approximately four miles west of the Middle Fork of the Chandalar River by a team of geologists from the UAF geophysics department. It is believed the remains are those of husband and wife, Tom Irons and Jean Aspen, the non-famous Arctic adventurers who went missing in 2014 while living at their summer home, Kernwood, which is located at the confluence of Kern Creek and the Middle Fork of the Chandalar.

       Irons and Aspen were considered, by friends and family, too old to continue venturing into the arctic mountains but persisted in doing so against all sane reason. Phil Gordon of Homer and a close friend of the elderly couple told the paper, “They didn’t know what they were doing but seemed to enjoy it a lot.”

       The skeletons were located on a steep slope in the middle of a large dense stand of slide alders and brush. The hikers were wearing large backpacks and apparently become entrapped in the thick foliage. Deep scars on the alders indicate the aged hikers had attempted to cut their way clear of the undergrowth by using their Swiss Army knives, but backpacks, ankles, and elbows had become so entangled that all movement became impossible.

       “Hypothermia, starvation, and extreme claustrophobia are possible explanations for their deaths,” said one law enforcement officer off the record, while close friend Gordon expressed his belief that the hikers had, in all likelihood, laughed themselves to death when they realized their situation.

       An extensive search was scheduled for October of 2014 when the old folks failed to return from their annual summer sojourn but an early snow storm postponed the search until the spring of 2015. By then the couple had simply been forgotten.

Tom and Jeanie fal 2014 2014

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