Bad hike with a happy ending in the Cleveland National Forest, California
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Southern California is blessed with beaches, mountains and forests as playgrounds for anyone with a taste for nature and adventure. I get hiking books from the library and each time I read one I realize how little I have actually hiked.
If I could just take off on hikes like a jungle girl I would. But I only hike in groups to avoid getting lost or worse. On new trails I use maps and hike with others who know the trail and I always have. With all my caution I have found myself in trouble more than once.
It never ceases to amaze me how these young kids start their hikes with no pack or water in the late afternoon expecting to hike. I realize they are younger, faster and in some cases skilled. As they pass me on the trails I have this strong urge to grab them and turn them around like children who can only come back when they have prepared with water and supplies.
On Sunday two teenagers went on a hike in the Cleveland National Forest. They started at 3:00 p.m. and just returned home today.
I went with one of my hiking clubs yesterday to participate in the search and rescue. We hiked all day in the forest hoping to find these two kids. As I searched I remembered how it felt to be lost not knowing if I would ever see the people I loved ever again. My heart was breaking for these two kids.
The forest was full of volunteers. There were hikers everywhere brainstorming and searching for these kids. I hope they find out just how many people came to bat for them.
The second hiker was rescued just a few hours ago. Now we can breathe and say thank you. Thank you to the Sheriff's Department, The volunteers, the residents in the area who helped, the rescue search teams and everyone who helped save these two young lives, THANK YOU.