Man wandered off, became lost

July 29, 1979
Palisades, San Jacinto Mtns

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By Kevin Walker

It was a little after midnight when I was awakened with news of a Search in the San Jacinto Mountains. A man in his mid-fifties had been missing since about six o'clock in the evening. It was decided that it would be a good idea to send in one team and check out the immediate area before daylight. And then if nothing was turned up, the whole team would be activated for a full scale search.

Walt Walker, Hal Fulkman, Brian Hixson and myself rode up to the Sheriff's office in Idyllwild where we were met by the informants. The story was quite simple, the man in question just wandered away from the group, and .... you know the rest. With that we headed for Humber Park. We decided that it would be good to check out the group's camp first to see if the missing man had made his way back to camp. Together with the informants, we hiked the Devil Slide Trail to the saddle. From there the informants lead us to the group camp. As we neared the camp, the first signs of daylight were beginning to show out from the East. Hal and I were the first into the camp. Guess who was sleeping in a warm bag? Yes, with the help of some hikers in the area, the missing man had found his way back to camp. With that, we headed back towards the saddle. Along the way we stopped to catch a little sleep. After about two hours of rest, we headed back down to Idyllwild and breakfast.