SAR: The Forrest of Nicene Marks, Santa Cruz, CA

Hi PoppaBob.

Since we don’t usually get a lot of positive news from our search and rescue endeavors, I thought we’d share our morning hike with y’all which, SPOILER ALERT, ended with everyone home safe.

Kira and I enjoyed a 4 AM phone call this morning for Search and Rescue which meant Kira had to skip out on her much anticipated governmental fire extinguisher training and I didn’t get to take Quark to the vet. Boo hoo.

We were responding to a lost mountain biker who had called 911 to report he was lost just before his cell phone battery went kaput. A few folks responded late last night, but due to the terrain, were limited in their ability to penetrate the forrest. So, the subject of the search slept in the woods (deep-deep-deep in the woods) over night and hiked out just as we (Kira, myself, and two teammates, John and Earnie) hiked in. We probably missed him by less than an hour and 1/4 mile. We arrived at his cellphone location and then picked up tracks and eventually his bicycle before hiking out the remaining 5 miles through creeks and steep terrain (with bicycle in tow). All the while the subject had reportedly not know a search was underway and hitch-hiked back to his car – where our command post was patiently waiting for him, much to his surprise. :)
We logged just under 8 miles and Climbed 900′ feet of elevation as we descended 2500′ in a mere 5 hours.


2015-01-29 SAR Hike Log

Download the GPS Log (kml)

As you can imagine, we were fairly pooped after we got home, but Kira showered up and headed out to work meetings while I sluggishly did some gardening before soothing my muscles with rest.

I was able to snap a few photos while we pushed through the dense forrest, which was once filled with the heavy traffic of loggers. Many old growth stumps still show the immense size of the ancient trees and there are signs of old logging rails strewn about the creek and hillsides. Also of note, our search area included the epicenter of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. No activity to speak of today, fortunately.

Hope all is well in laguna. I saw there were some Geocaches poking about last weekend. They reported the cache is in good order.