Keep Your Meth at Home While Hiking. Better yet, never even touch the stuff!
UPDATED 05/21/2013: Hikers will not be forced to pay $160,000 in Search and Rescue Fees (LINK)
Hiking is a great way to get to know someone. Hiking can be romantic and inspiring, and if done right, can forge friendships and relationships that last a lifetime. My best friends in life go hiking with me, and some of my best memories of relationships, both in the past and currently are from trails and campsites. We all have stories about hikes bringing us closer to people, but none of us probably have a story like the one below.
You might remember this story. On Easter weekend, 2013, two Southern California teens went on a hike as a first date. They supposedly met on Match.Com and hit it off quite well, arranging to meet face to face at the local trail in Orange County. Their goal was to take a very short day hike to the Trabuco Canyon area, or so they claimed.
The guy, 19 years old, who looked like a stereotypical Orange County/Jersey Shore wanna-be, was found after 3 days of wandering around the hills, separated from his date, dehydrated, disorientated and hallucinating. The girl, aged 18 years, was found after 4 days and treated for the same ailments.
The girl, once rescued, claimed “she had experienced vivid hallucinations that left her thinking she was being attacked by animals and that twigs were straws from which she could suck water.” The man said “he thought he might be ‘in the afterlife’ and grew so convinced he was being stalked by predators that he grabbed a sharp stick for defense.” He also thought he was being stalked by tigers…
That last part is where the story gets weird. First of all, it was a day hike near lots of people. Secondly, looking at the area where they were hiking, it is tough to imagine getting completely disorientated. They were 4 miles from a major freeway (Interstate 5) to the west, with road noise traveling up the mountains. Worse case it takes you 10 hours to walk down to I-5. They also probably knew the sun has always set in the west and rose in the east, so they could head toward help if they needed it. Finally, hallucinations like that rarely, if ever happen in cases of lost hikers.
Once found, people rejoiced, even though a massive search and rescue operation occurred. The cost for Search and Rescue to find them totaled over $160,000 and was going to be spared on the teens because initially it looked like an accident. That is, until the police searched the man’s BMW while he was missing and discovered a bag containing 497 milligrams of meth.
Maybe the meth was just there in his car. Maybe they didn’t use it before getting on the trails. Maybe it wasn’t his. Maybe she didn’t use it…Maybe, Maybe, maybe…
Accidents do happen, but sometimes you have to just look at the facts. It is hard to believe that anyone could get THAT lost in the “woods” of Orange County, California. that close to a major highway. They might not have been on meth. They might be innocent. They might have been stone sober, making them the most idiotic hikers in the world that day. I hope for their sake they aren’t fighting a meth addiction. I hope they were just dumb kids who made a mistake and now have to deal with their consequences. Either way though, don’t do meth while hiking.
Congratulations, adorable hiking couple in California: You are this week’s “Idiot Outdoors-People of the Week”
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