PCT Hiker Missing

May 8, 2013

Written by Les Walker

Around 7:00 pm on a May 8th, I received a call from Call Captain Gwenda Yates. She had received information that a PCT hiker could possibly be missing as he had not checked in with his Mother from the trail since Monday "two days ago". Gwenda was able to give me his full description and most importantly his trail name. Why is the trail name important? All the PCT hikers use a simple name so when they meet other hikers it is easier to remember then "John Doe". This missing hikerís trail name was Baby Face. With information in hand, and my knowledge of where the PCT hikers like to migrate to in Idyllwild, I began my search.

First stop the San Jacinto State park and all the way in the back to the "hikerís area." There were many tents set up but not many people about, I did find one sleepy hiker and asked if he knew Baby Face, "Nope". No luck here, so where next? PCT hikers have one goal in mind when they hit town: Food and Beer, so off to Idyllwild Pizza. There I found about 5 hikers and talked to them about Baby Face, No luck again, no one had heard of him. I decided to canvas the local motels where they like to stay and see if anyone has heard of him. I stopped in at the Idyllwild Inn and talked to the clerk. Yes she had heard of Baby Face as his Mother had called there looking for him. However he had not stayed there. I made up a note that said "Baby Face Call Home" and I attached it to the climberís box on the deck of the motel.

So, where to next? How about the coffee shop next door? No luck there either as they were closing up. Thatís when I spotted two hikers crossing the street and I stopped them and I asked about Baby Face, YES, they knew of him! They directed me to the motel they knew he had been staying at. I made my way over to the Knotty Pines Cabins and talked to the owner/clerk and she went through the registry with me. FOUND HIM... Baby Face stayed there Monday and Tuesday night and just checked out this morning around 9 am with two other hikers and was now on the trail. So great news he was not lost, he had just decided not to check in with his Mother every day I guess. He was now probably up near the summit of San Jacinto with his hiking partners and will be back out and down to make the crossing at the Banning Pass some time on Thursday the 9th. I hope he calls home!

RMRU team members present: Les Walker.