Husband of missing hiker searches, hopes

12:41 AM, Jul 27, 2013   |    comments
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  • Geraldine "Gerry" Largay
  • George Largay

(WXIA) -- A woman who lived for many years in Norcross, GA, who dreamed of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, disappeared last week while hiking the trail.

Geraldine Largay had made it almost all the way, she was in Maine.

Now dozens of searchers are helping her husband look for her.

Geraldine Largay -- known to all as Gerry -- texted her husband, George Largay, earlier this week from the trail in Maine.

George was just a few miles away when he received her text; he's been driving the supply car for her, supporting her lifelong goal of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, "which is a bucket-list item for her," George said. "And, you know, when you've been happily married for 42 years, even though it's not on my bucket-list, you do what you need to do."

Gerry Largay, 66, never showed up where she was supposed to meet George next.

By Friday, dozens of searchers were looking for her, along a 19-mile stretch of the trail where she is most likely to be.

Authorities are also looking for an unidentified woman who called George's hotel on Wednesday. The woman said to the person at the hotel office who answered the phone that she was hiking on the trail, and she said that she spent Tuesday night at a lean-to along the trail, and Gerry was also there spending the night.

George and Gerry Largay lived for many years in Norcross, until earlier this year.

Gerry was active in the Alpharetta-Roswell Newcomers' Club.

And she likes quilting. Once she made a quilt to illustrate one of her favorite quotes -- "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Gerry named her quilt "Appalachian Trail Dreamer."

Gerry's last leg of her long hike began in April, in West Virginia.

And she was closer than ever to the northern end of the 2,180-mile-long trail, which stretches between Georgia and Maine.

George said he is grateful to the searchers helping him find the love of his life.

"It's really like they're going about this like it's their wife or their significant other out there, I mean they're really owning this situation, so that's, that's an incredible source of comfort for me."

Gerry Largay's experience as a hiker includes extensive experience sustaining herself for extended periods of time alone in the wilderness. So searchers say there is every reason to believe they will find her safe and sound.

WCSH 6 News, Portland, ME, contributed to this article.

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