Man spent night outdoors

December 8, 1986
Lake Elsinore

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By Joe Erickson

I have been dreading this phone call for a couple of years now, and sure enough I got it.

Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. Kevin Walker called me with a mission, informing me that I would have to perform the duty of Operations Leader. Yuk. The mission would be out in the Elsinore area near the upper San Juan campground. Double yuk. Most missions in the Elsinore area have a strange twist, and this one was no exception.

When Kevin told me a hiker was missing from near the upper San Juan campground and that we were to meet at the Sheriff's sub-station in Lake Elsinore I must have still been groggy because I went straight up to the campground. Also, I had called Ray Hussey and told him we were meeting at the campground.

When I got there and no one was around I got a bit apprehensive and drove up to the cafe across from the San Juan loop trail and telephoned to base. I was told of my mistake and that when all members were assembled at the designated site (Sheriff's Office) they would join me at the campground.

l hung up the telephone and saw Ray drive by. I figured he would come back up the road for the same reason I did, so I walked across the road to look at the trail while I waited. Just then I saw a fellow walking up the road. The man had wet feet and looked like he had spent the night outdoors. I called to him. He confirmed that he was our subject and so I telephoned the Sheriff's Office and told them the mission was secure. Ray Hussey came back and we drove down the hill to the awaiting Sheriff's Deputy and the faithful RMRU troops. Those present were: Bruce Gahagan (Operations Leader), Mary Bowman, Rob Gardner, Ray Hussey, Henry Negrete, Gil Carr and myself.