Search for a possible body
By Jim Fairchild
A red-checkered shirt and some hair, at the bottom of a one-hundred foot high cliff, just south of the junction of Strawberry Cienega Trail, with tracks in the snow leading to the very edge of the cliff, was the description that was the start of the mission. A hiker that had camped near the junction on April 15 reported that he had seen the tracks at about dusk. He and a friend hiked back to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on the 16th, and then reported the observations to the Sheriff's Office. Kevin Walker of RMRU was contacted and he conducted a thorough interrogation of the informant.
That evening a pager call went out for RMRU to meet at Humber Park above Idyllwild at 7:00 a.m. Shortly after that hour we (Henry Negrete, Ronnie Pierson, Eric Townsend, Brian Silison, Jay Pion, Kevin Walker, Larry Carter, Bernie McIlvoy, and writer) trudged up the 2600' elevation gain to search the area, while others worked at base camp. We encountered snow covering varying depths and varying hardness. Information came to us over the radio that the State Park Ranger reported that an unusual fellow in a red-checkered shirt got a permit earlier, and the Sheriff said the man's car was still at Humber Park. Aha! No problem, we'd find him and lug him out, early this afternoon.
Upon reaching the trail junction and ridgeline we spread out and checked very carefully all high boulders, bluffs, and cliffs. A radio message then came to say the red-checkered shirt owner came out and drove away. Well, we had a nice hike, explored a nice area, and finished with a nice Mexican food dinner in Idyllwild.
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