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Mountain Roads in Southern Oregon

by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

Posted on December 7, 2006 at 12:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM


The location where searchers found James Kim's body is roughly eight miles south of the location where the Stivers and Higginbotham families got stuck for two weeks near the end of March 2006.

Peter Stivers and his wife, Marlo Hill-Stivers hiked out and found help after searchers called off their efforts to find the family.

The day after that family's rescue, photographer Casey Nolan and I drove up Cow Creek and then Dutch Henry road in the Southern Oregon mountains to find the family's motor home.

I'll nevery forget how quickly the road turned from dry to wet to icy to snow packed and a couple turns later we were driving in a rutted track with snow up beside the doors.

I've heard some wonder out loud how or why a family would put themselves in danger on the mountain roads of Southern Oregon.

I can tell you the roads turn bad so quickly you can easily get in trouble before you realize its happening.

We continued driving on only because we knew a road crew was working somewhere up in front of us.

Otherwise we would have been in big trouble and forced to back down the mountain.

That very thing happened to Lori Webber from Newberg last week (11/30/06).

She travelled the 23 road ---also called the Galice Road---from Gold Beach toward Grants Pass.

Lori told me she too got in trouble before she knew it. She described the road as going from two lane to one lane to a path a goat would not travel.

She ended up backing her car down the mountain too. It took four hours to reach safety.

Lori thought she was going to die there in the mountains.

I believe it.