let me express my sympathy to all of Sarah's family. I only met
Sarah once, and only talked to her for two minutes, but I think
our hiking party may have been the last to visit with her.
hiking party of six left Timberline Lodge for Paradise Meadows Monday
morning, August 27. We planned to spend six days hiking the Timberline
Trail around the mountain. It rained all day Monday, but it was
pleasant hiking in the cool weather, and crossing Zigzag posed no
problems with high water. We hiked up to Paradise Meadows and camped
for the night. It rained all night. The next morning it was still
raining. Considering the fact that the weather forecast called for
rain for two or three more days, we decided to hike out. We discussed
the possibility of splitting up and some of us hiking to Ramona
Falls while at least two hiked back to pick up the cars and drive
to the Ramona Falls Trailhead. We weren't concerned about crossing
the Sandy River, but we hadn't heard that the bridge was washed
out at the lower crossing. However, no one wanted to make the longer
hike, so everyone decided to hike back to Timberline.
light rain was still falling as our first group of three started
to hike out. The others followed about 20 minutes later. When we
crossed the Zigzag River, the water wasn't noticeably higher than
the day before, and still easy to cross without getting our feet
Little Zigzag Canyon, we met Sarah. It was nearly 11:00. We stopped
to talk for a couple minutes. She didn't appear to be tired and
was very upbeat. She said that she didn't actually mind hiking in
the rain and was happy to be returning to her car at the trailhead.
She told us there was good hot cocoa at Timberline Lodge. With that
in mind, we continued on to Timberline Lodge. Sarah later passed
the other three hikers in our group, but they didn't stop to talk.
didn't hear that Sarah was missing until noon Thursday. I called
the search and rescue number, but they had already talked to other
people in our party who had identified her. I hope this information
helped narrow the search.
I share your loss. I will never forget this chance meeting. It has
been an inspiration to read about the influence Sarah has had on
so many people. It is a challenge to me to attempt to make that
kind of difference.