Out of the thin air and into near trouble Once Chad got off the mountain he waited for me at the trailhead. What he didn't know was that I eventually headed back down, but I couldn't see our tracks since the snow covered it up, so I mistakenly followed another route down that lead me to the opposite end of where the trailhead was. Chad got worried and went to the ranger station and reported me lost. Instantaneously, the rangers put together a rescue team that involved the fire department, mountain rescue (complete with a helicopter), and local law enforcement. They even contacted the Newport Beach Police Department to stop by my apartment. Needless to say, I met a couple at the trail whom Chad had talked to earlier and knew that I had been reported lost. We went back to their car and they drove me to the original trailhead where everybody was waiting for me. As an experienced hiker I was both embarrassed, but comforted in the fact that my safety was at a priority. The questioned remained - would I ever summit Mt. San Jacinto?
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