Monday, August 22, 2011

Body found in remote area of Lost Creek Wilderness

Body found in remote area of Lost Creek Wilderness: 8/22/2011 4:33:00 PM

Body found in remote area of Lost Creek Wilderness
Could be that of missing hiker

Mike Potter
Staff Writer

Rescuers may make another attempt on Aug. 27 to recover the body of an unknown male discovered near Bison Peak on Aug. 20 by a Park County Search and Rescu1e worker.

Park County Coroner David Kintz Jr., said the body, which could be that of missing hiker Frank Stanley, was found in a rugged area of the Lost Creek Wilderness east of Jefferson.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves

August 17, 2011

As the following article illustrates, we should have real concern that or government does do the job we pay it taxes to do. Why is America the dumping grounds for Asian honey that Europe is banning because of impurities and chemicals?


Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves

FDA has the laws needed to keep adulterated honey off store shelves but does little, honey industry says.

A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. A Food Safety News investigation has documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities.

And the flow of Chinese honey continues despite assurances from the Food and Drug Administration and other federal officials that the hundreds of millions of pounds reaching store shelves were authentic and safe following the widespread arrests and convictions of major smugglers over the last two years.
Thumbnail image for honeycomb406.jpgExperts interviewed by Food Safety News say some of the largest and most long-established U.S. honey packers are knowingly buying mislabeled, transshipped or possibly altered honey so they can sell it cheaper than those companies who demand safety, quality and rigorously inspected honey.

"It's no secret that the honey smuggling is being driven by money, the desire to save a couple of pennies a pound," said Richard Adee, who is the Washington Legislative Chairman of the American Honey Producers Association.

Read the full article at the link below...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hikers petition against Smokies Backcountry camping fees |

Hikers petition against Smokies Backcountry camping fees |

"While some of the high-quality gear can be expensive, the hike is currently free of charge. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park does not charge multi-day hikers any fees for backcountry camping permits.
Publish Post
In late-July, GSMNP officials announced public meetings to discuss proposed fees for backcountry campers. Since then, more than 500 people have signed a petition against adding pay-for-permits.

'Almost all of the trail maintenance and campsite rehabilitation is done by volunteer backpackers,' said Jim Baun, a backcountry hiker who started the petition. 'I feel like we already put in our sweat-equity towards the park. Fees would target people who have a minimal impact on the park because we don't use many park resources and we help maintain a lot of the park for free.'

'At this point we are strictly in the mode of starting the conversation. Nothing is set in stone,' said Nancy Gray, GSMNP spokesperson. 'We want to start this dialogue and have a few options to use as a starting point.'"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Outdoors blog

Woman breaks Appalachian Trail speed-hiking record

HIKING — Striding along at a rate of nearly two marathons A DAY, Jennifer Pharr Davis has set an unofficial record for the fastest assisted hike of the entire Appalachian Trail from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia.
She saw 36 bears, moose, porcupines and every sunrise and sunset during an epic 2,180 mile journey that lasted 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes. Friends and spouse supported her effort so she could trek equipped with a daypack or less.
She went through five pairs of hybrid hiking and running shoes while averaging about 47 miles a day, or nearly two marathons, breaking the previous record set by a man six years ago by just over 24 hours.
And she suffered nearly a week of dysentery in the early portion of her trek, giving a new twist to “the trots.”
‘Fastest is so relative,’ Davis told the Associated Press on Tuesday after estimating she had slept about 30 of the past 48 hours. ‘My average was 3 mph. So what are you not going to see at 3 mph?’
She emerged from the woods on Sunday and walked to the granite slab on Springer at the trail's southern end. Her parents and dozens of other family members and friends were cheering her on.
‘There were a lot of tears,’ Davis said. ‘Everyone was like: “Are those happy tears?” I just said they're everything tears. I'm so happy. In a way, I'm sad it's over.
Of course, this isn't Jennifer's first hiking experience.  Here's one of my previous posts on Davis' adventures with links for background.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Up to 10% of Post Offices Possibly Closing! Backpackers Affected.

SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2011

The Times They Are a-Changin' for Backpackers

Earlier in the week the U.S. Postal Serviceannounced that they will be conducting a study over the next several months to determine the need for some 3700 retail post offices. Potentially, the USPS could eliminate more than 10% of all their post offices around the country. Most of these closings will likely occur in rural areas, such as those along the Appalachian Trail.

A.T. thru-hikers, and section hikers, use the services of post offices to forward, or pre-deliver, food, gear and other supplies as they proceed along the trail.

There has been much made in the press this week as to the consequences that will be felt by backpackers as a result of these potential closings. Many backpackers fear that it will become much more difficult to thru-hike trails like the A.T., or the Pacific Crest Trail, due to possibility of having to carry significantly more weight in their packs. But I would argue that this fear may be somewhat unfounded. I believe the private sector will likely step-in to fill the void left by many post office closures. It's not too hard to envision places like the Hike Inn at Fontana Dam, as an example, to take up the business of handling drop boxes for hikers. If there's a demand for a product or service, some hungry entrepreneur will jump at the opportunity to fill the need. The downside, of course, is that hikers may have to pay a little more since the federal government will no longer be subsidizing parts of the cost.

Speaking of higher costs for backpackers; does anyone have any thoughts, comments or concerns regarding Friday'sannouncement that the Great Smoky Mountains is considering a move to make all backcountry camping permits (for all sites) go through an online/call-in reservation service?

Do you have any problems paying the $2.25 to $10.00 fees that are being proposed to make a reservation for a backcountry campsite? In comparison, most other parks with similar backcountry operations charge between $10 and $30 per reservation, and many have additional per person or per night fees.

Given the avalanche of debt we currently find ourselves in, I have to believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Down the road, we're very likely to see parks find new and different ways of charging fees for services that have been free in the past.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Authorities: 3 swept over waterfall presumed dead - Nation Wires -


Posted on Wednesday, 07.20.11

NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- Young tourists above one of Yosemite National Park's beautiful and perilous waterfalls were trying to pose for a picture. Instead they burned a horrifying image into the memories of everyone who saw.

A man and a woman crossed a metal barricade above the 317-foot Vernal Fall on Tuesday, making their way over slick granite to a rock in the middle of the swift Merced River.

The woman slipped. The man reached for her and fell in. Another man in their group of about 10 tried to help but fell into the water as well. Other hikers, including several children in their group, could only watch as the rushing water swept all three students over the edge."

Be safe out there.  Remember, there are a 1001 ways to die.  Don't show us 1002. Desert Cactus

The Rest Of The Story....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

National Park Warns: Don’t Pee Near Trails…Because of the Killer Goats | Breaking news and opinion on The Blaze

July 9, 2011

"Hikers in Olympic National Park in Washington state are being urged not to urinate along backcountry trails in order to avoid attracting mountain goats who lick the urine deposits for salt.

The warnings are part of a plan that comes in the wake of a man’s death last October after a mountain goat gored him in the thigh."

Appalachian Trail: 11 facts about the Appalachian Trail -

Appalachian Trail: 11 facts about the Appalachian Trail - "1. The length of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is constantly changing. In 2010 the trail was officially 2,179.1 miles, crossing 14 states from Maine to Georgia. This year it's 2,181. Why? The added distance is due to upgrades and repairs."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Grizzly Bear Kills Hiker in Yellowstone National Park - ABC News

Grizzly Bear Kills Hiker in Yellowstone National Park - ABC News:

"A husband and wife's backcountry hike along a popular trail turned tragic when they stumbled upon a grizzly bear and her cubs and the 57-year-old man was mauled to death, Yellowstone National Park officials said.

The couple was hiking along the Wapiti Lake Trail in the Grand Canyon area of the park, park officials told ABC News. They had walked about a mile and a half from the trail head when they saw the grizzly sow and her cubs."

Read the full story here...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lorain County Moms » Blog Archive » Book review: ‘Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival’

Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival

"Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival"
by Denise Long

c.2011, Chicago Review Press
$12.95 / $13.95 Canada
223 pages, includes index

By Terri Schlichenmeyer, Philadelphia Tribune contributor

There is absolutely no way you’re staying inside another minute.

All year long, when school’s in session, you spend enough time indoors. But with summer here and the free time that comes with it, you plan on being outside as much as possible, hiking, exploring, and camping.

But what if you get lost? How will you deal with not knowing where you are? Will you know what to do, how to stay protected, where to find food, and how to survive? You will if you’ve read “Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival” by Denise Long."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hiker Found Dead on Trail in Afternoon Heat

Hiker Found Dead on Trail in Afternoon Heat:

Updated: Sunday, 03 Jul 2011, 9:51 PM MST
Published : Sunday, 03 Jul 2011, 9:51 PM MST

PHOENIX - It started as a rescue call, but quickly turned into a recovery mission. The body of a 50-year-old hiker was found at Dreamy Draw Park late Sunday afternoon.

The cause of death is under investigation. Police said the man who died was from Phoenix, and it appeared he was an experienced hiker. But when the heat is this intense, even those with experience could run into problems."

Local News | Wash. hiker missing after sliding down snow face | Seattle Times Newspaper

Local News | Wash. hiker missing after sliding down snow face | Seattle Times Newspaper:

A search is underway for a 21-year-old Tacoma woman who was hiking in the Aasgard Pass area of Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness when she reportedly slid down a snow face and disappeared over an edge into a hole about five-feet wide."

Bodies of missing doctor and daughter found in the wilderness | Mail Online

Bodies of missing doctor and daughter found in the wilderness | Mail Online:

"The bodies of the missing doctor and his 20-year-old daughter who disappeared while hiking in the mountains are believed to have been found.

The two bodies were found about one mile from the summit of the Missouri mountain and authorities believe 'with high confidence' that they belong to Dr Michael von Gortler, 53, and Makana von Gortler.

Chaffee County Sheriff Pete Palmer told the Boulder Daily Camera that the bodies were about 500 feet above the main trail."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Female hiker dies after fall on Mount Princeton | AHN

Female hiker dies after fall on Mount Princeton | AHN:

"A female hiker who fell on Mount Princeton died from her injuries on Thursday. Chaffee County rescuers found her dead after receiving a distressed call from her male hiking companion.

According to Chaffee County Search and Rescue, a man called 911 at 1:15 p.m. with the caller saying his female companion had fallen, had suffered injuries to her head, had lost consciousness and had stopped"

Monday, June 27, 2011

New trail lauded in Rangeley | Sun Journal

New trail lauded in Rangeley | Sun Journal:

"The National Park Service in December 2010 transferred ownership of a small parcel to the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. That land had been barred from ATV use, which prevented riders from connecting to the trail systems in the area.

The transfer allowed the state to give riders access around Eddy Pond, near the Saddleback Mountain ski resort. The formal dedication of the West Saddleback Connector celebrated the work of community groups, government representatives, private landowners and volunteers.

As keynote speaker at the Rangeley Country Club event, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the tireless efforts of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the High Peaks Alliance and other groups made the celebration possible."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

York's Earl Shaffer among inaugural Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame inductees - The York Daily Record

York's Earl Shaffer among inaugural Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame inductees - The York Daily Record: "GARDNERS -- York native Earl Shaffer has been inducted into the brand-new Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame at the Appalachian Trail Museum in Adams County.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Walking the Appalachian Trial is No Euphemism

In 1948 Earl Shaffer of York, Pa., made history. He walked 2,181 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, making him the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. This is the time of year that "through hikers" are traversing the Keystone state.  With notoriously rocky trails, hikers say Pennsylvania is a great test of their determination to get to Maine.

An early morning lightning storm pounds at the wooden roof of the "Kirkridge" rock shelter near the Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania. Three Appalachian Trail through-hikers are dry and sleeping soundly. They are eight miles shy of finishing the state and have been hiking for three months since beginning this spring at Springer Mountain, Georgia.
"The rain really slows me down," said Zack Joiner of Carthage, Mississippi, who adopted a trail name Facejacket.  "When its raining it's no fun to pack up a tent, or in my case a tarp."
The night before Joiner built a fire and told me a story of one of his more difficult moments on the trail.
"Sure enough one of the roots that I thought I was stepping on turned, and proceeded to bite me," said Joiner. "It turned out to be a copperhead."
Thankfully he was wearing a hiking gaiter that protected his leg. One of his traveling partners, Harry Netzer, will soon start college.  He has wanted to hike the AT since his mother read him "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, as a child.
Netzer had his trail name, Shorts, given to him.  
"In the beginning we had a few snowy days, ice over night," said Netzer.  "I would always be in shorts, other people would put on rain pants and long underwear, so I'm Shorts."  
Dave Childs is a chairperson of the hiker's center, a free hostel at the Holy Church of the Mountain in Stroudsburg. He says typically two in ten through-hikers make it to the end, but those who conquer Pennsylvania are beyond half way, and have a good chance of summiting Mt. Katahdin in Maine before fall weather rules it out.  
"Right about now, in early June through July they start coming through the state," said Childs. "The latest they can pass through Pennsylvania is August if they're get to Baxter State park before it closes on October 15th."  
Life on the Appalachian Trail always involves some hardship, but Pennsylvania, called Rocksylvania, is one of hikers least favorite sections.   
"My feet are very angry," said Joiner.  "To be honest, I'm excited about getting out of Pennsylvania and on to flat ground again, so that the entire bottom of my shoe actually hits dirt."
Anna Jeffers, who has been hiking sections of the AT for a decade, is a 57 year old lawyer from Baltimore. 
"It just became rockier and rockier, and there's parts of it where the trail goes over knife edges of rocks," said Jeffers. "You're holding on with a 35 pound pack on your back."
Yet Netzer and Joiner say they are having a great time and are determined to finish. 
"I definitely see myself making it through to the end," said Netzer. "It's been 1,200 something miles so far, I have a pretty good idea of what I have left."
"I have a lot of friends out here and I want to hike up Mt. Katahdin with them," said Joiner.  
Red Ryder is from Illinois and only wants to be known by his trail name. He says the AT isn't just a trail, it's like a society in the woods.
"To me the trail is about the people out here," he said. "We have a language of our own. You're a sobo, you're a south-bounder.  You're a nobo, you're a north-bounder"
"Blue blazes, are side paths," chimes in Netzer.  "Yellow blazes are shortcuts, like a taxi cab.  Steel blazing is taking a train. Aqua blaze--apparently there a few places where you can ride a raft."
It doesn't take long before through hikers' conversations turn to trail food:
Ramen noodles,
Candy bars
Tuna fish
Preservable cheese. 
"I've packed out Little Debbies, I've packed out beer, and whole subs," said Joiner.
Walking more than 2,000 miles does weed out a lot of people.  The Appalachian Trail Conservancy says only about one quarter of this year's 1,500 through hikers will finish.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Trails I've hiked - The Appalachian Trail in Southwest Virginia

Trails I've hiked - The Appalachian Trail in Southwest Virginia

Open area near Massey Gap
Scenery and ponies on the A.T. from Massey Gap to Elk Garden. Photos by Danny Bernstein
It was President Reagan’s favorite joke and it goes like this.
A psychiatrist was observing two little boys in a room full of horse manure. The first one was very upset with all the dirt and filth. The second little boy clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to all fours, and began digging.
“What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked.
The happy child replied, “With all this poop there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
And I felt exactly like the optimistic boy as Lenny and I scouted the hike on the Appalachian Trail we're going to lead at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biennial Conference Virginia Journeys. The area is famous for its feral ponies and I was happy to see the droppings.
This hike on the A.T. in southwest Virginia goes from Massey Gap in Grayson Highlands State Par to Elk Gardens (8.9 miles, 1,500 ft. of cumulative ascent). After placing a car at Elk Gardens, we drive to Massey Gap and try to find the A.T. We look at the map yet again and realize that we need to take the connecting Rhododendron Trail for a half-mile, and then pick up the A.T. southbound.
The trail crosses open meadows. Right now purple Catawba rhododendrons and flaming azaleas are in bloom. Mountain laurel will open up in a couple of weeks. Gold finches flit through the bushes. Hay has been left for the wild ponies. Soon the A.T. leaves Grayson Highlands and is back in Mt. Rogers Recreation Area. We come up two groups of ponies, including nursing foals.
Alternate Text
Feral ponies graze along the Appalachian Trail. Photo by Danny Bernstein.
These ponies were introduced and now run wild. If the herd gets too large, the park sells them at an auction in September. Unfortunately, a careless and slow hiker has let his dog run ahead and disturb the ponies. In response, the ponies rear up their hind legs to kick the dog, but the dog runs away. The dog disturbs photographers more than the ponies. The trail climbs on rocky steps and goes through Fatman Squeeze Tunnel, a narrow passage way through rocks. Finally we reach Rhododendron Gap at 5,440 feet, and find a magnificent view. We're rewarded by a flat stretch, a boulevard of beech and spruce trees.
Bluets, tiny blue flowers, carpet the ground. It's a good area for camping, though there's no water on the ridge. Open meadows, "balds," are not natural; they were created by logging, grazing, and fire. Now the U.S. Forest Service keeps the land open by the same methods. Grazing wild ponies help as well.
Further down at Thomas Knob Shelter, we meet two guys on an overnight backpack. One is dreaming of doing the A.T. in a couple of years when he retires. "You can do it," I tell him. "One step at a time."
The trail enters the Lewis Fork Wilderness Area. All sorts of restrictions apply to a wilderness area, including that the group size can't be more than 10. The hiking gurus at the ATC conference have taken that into account. We'll lead a southbound group of hikers and two other volunteers will lead a northbound group.
Soon we get to the spur trail up to Mt. Rogers, the highest point in Virginia. There's no view at the top but it's a popular destination, nevertheless. A group of college students from College of Lake County in Northern Illinois are on a two-week trip studying physical education, biology and English. They congregate on top of the mountain to eat lunch, though several students still struggle to get to the peak. They tell me that they're hiking every day and have to journal and reflect on their hikes.
For English they also read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. The author didn't finish the A.T. and annoyed all of us that did, but it's a famous and funny book.
You won't find solitude on this section of the A.T., but it's a spectacular section even if you just go a mile out and a mile back. We keep meeting A.T. thru-hikers and other long-distance hikers, which is always a highlight for me. By the end of May, when we did this hike, the thru-hikers that we meet are at the tail end of the wave of Northbounders.
One retiree tells us that he knows that he's slow and that he'll have to flip-flop at some point. Hikers do a flip-flop when they think that they won't be able to make it to Katahdin in Maine before bad weather sets in. So they leave the trail, take a bus to Mt. Katahdin, and start walking south to where they've left off. It's a way to stretch out the hiking season. After the turn-off to Mt. Rogers, the trail goes into the woods and keeps descending. It comes out at Elk Garden, another beautiful open field.
Appalachian Trail bench
A bench for a rest awaits those who make it to Elk Garden. Danny Bernstein photo.
Here a hiking group had erected a bench at the top of the meadow in memory of one of their fellow hikers. Lenny and I sit for a couple of minutes and then continue down to VA 600 and our car. There are no elk in Elk Garden. As signs explain, elk were driven to extinction here as forests were logged and cleared for farming. Hunting also contributed to their demise. Rocky Mountain elk, a close relative to the extinct eastern elk, have been introduced in eastern Kentucky and some have made their way to southwest Virginia. The same elk species was brought back to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2001 and 2002.
As we drive back to Massey Gardens to pick up our first car, we see two cows coming up a trail and about to cross the road. They are frightened by the cars and scuttle down into the forest too quickly for me to take a picture.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Asheville amateur hiker takes on USA's 2 toughest trails | The Asheville Citizen-Times |

Asheville amateur hiker takes on USA's 2 toughest trails | The Asheville Citizen-Times | "After I read Bill Bryson's classic outdoor narrative “A Walk in the Woods,”I developed a near obsession with hiking the entire 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail in one hiking season.

This was in spite of my never having spent even a single night outdoors in my 44 years. So in the spring of 2005, I set off — full of hope, determination and fear.

I immediately realized I had plunged into a whole new world. For starters, the Appalachian Trail runs through some ferociously difficult terrain over the course of 14 states."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Harrisonburg, VA to be Designated as an Appalachian Trail Community

Harrisonburg, VA to be Designated as an Appalachian Trail Community

This press release is acknowledging Harrisonburg, VA as the newest community in the Appalachian Trail Community(TM) program.

Harrisonburg, VA, June 03, 2011 --( On June 10, 2011, the city of Harrisonburg will be officially dedicated as an Appalachian Trail Community™. Speakers from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Harrisonburg Mayor Richard Baugh, and Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce President Frank Tamberrino, will lead the ceremony. The event will also feature two Harrisonburg locals, David and Michael Frazier, who recently completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

The Appalachian Trail Community™ designation is a new program of the ATC, the non-profit manager of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.). Launched in 2010, this program recognizes communities for their part in promoting awareness of the A.T. as an important national and local resource. Towns, counties and communities along the A.T. corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers, and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” stated Julie Judkins, Community Program Manager of the ATC. “These new partnerships will increase local stewardship of public lands, support community initiatives for sustainable economic development and conservation planning, as well as support healthy lifestyles for community citizens.”

The designation ceremony will take place on the steps of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham General District Courthouse, located at 53 Court Sq. in Harrisonburg at 6:30. The event will be followed by the opening of Fridays on the Square. The annual Harrisonburg summer music and film festival is entering its 21st season and will feature the roots-rock band, Eric Brace and Last Train Home.

“It is a great opportunity for the Harrisonburg area and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to partner on promoting the scenic beauty and the amenities that both the Trail and Harrisonburg have to offer,” stated Frank Tamberrino, President of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate the Conservancy recognizing the historic and current relationship between the residents of Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley and the hikers and visitors on the Appalachian Trail.”

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials who were working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is 2,181 miles in length from Maine to Georgia, making it the longest, continuously marked footpath in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 200,000 hours a year on trail-related work. About 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year. The ATC is focused solely on preserving and managing the A.T. to ensure that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit

Contact: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x 11
Fax: 828.254.3754

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rescue Crews Locate Missing Hikers On Mt. San Jacinto

By Mirna Alfonso

A Culver City couple who went missing while hiking the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness were found Sunday afternoon, a sheriff's deputy said.

Michael Cao, and his wife, 55-year-old Yi Mei, were in good condition and were being hiked to the Palm Springs Tram sheriff's station, said sheriff's Deputy Robert Martinez.

They were uninjured and needed no medical care, he said.

The couple had been expected back at their home 6 p.m. Saturday but never showed, authorities said.


Sheriff's rescue crews were out in force Sunday to search for a husband and wife who went missing while hiking in the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness.

Culver City residents Michael Cao, and his wife, 55-year-old Yi Mei, set out from the Palm Springs Tram Station about 8 a.m. Saturday for a hike, with plans to return home by 6 p.m.

Sheriff's deputies from the Cabazon substation were notified of the couple's delay about 12:15 a.m., according to Sgt. Steve Fredericks.

Deputies found the couple's vehicle at the Palm Springs Tram parking lot but no one has seen or heard from them since Saturday morning, Fredericks said.

Deputies, an air crew and a mountain rescue team were in the area Sunday afternoon searching for the couple, the sergeant said.

"The Riverside County Sheriff's Department would like to remind hiking enthusiasts that adequate hydration, hiking in groups, and communication devices are all essential elements of a safe and successful hiking excursion," Fredericks said.

"Remember that extreme temperature changes occur in these mountainous areas," he added.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call deputies at the Cabazon station, 951.922.7100 or through its Website,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Desolation Wilderness permits now available online

Desolation Wilderness permits now available online: "(05-20) 18:23 PDT South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (AP) --

Visitors to California's popular Desolation Wilderness Area near Lake Tahoe now will be able to make overnight permit reservations online.

The U.S. Forest Service says it no longer will accept permit reservations over the phone, through the mail or by fax. The agency also will no longer mail reserved permits.

The 64,000-acre wilderness area is located in both the agency's Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

The number of people allowed daily in various zones of the wilderness is regulated during the summer by a quota system.

Fifty percent of the quota in each zone is available for advanced reservations between Memorial Day weekend and Sept. 30.

The remaining quota is available on a first-come, first-served basis at permit offices on the date of entry."

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