HOOD RIVER, Ore. – A missing hiker is speaking out after spending several hours lost in the wilderness in the Tanner Butte area near the Columbia River Gorge, just west of Cascade Locks.
The hiker's story is a reminder that you can never be too careful.
The busy hiking season is just getting started, and authorities said they're seeing more and more activity at the trailheads.
Antonio D’Archangel, 22, was on his way to the Eagle Creek campground when things went terribly wrong.
Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, a search-and-rescue team brought a surprisingly upbeat D’Archangel back to the trailhead. He wasted no time telling authorities how he got lost.
“Right here is a sign and I missed it and I started wandering this direction,” he said.
D’Archangel found himself in the middle of nowhere. He used whatever was left of his cell phone battery to call 9-1-1.
It turned out the rain would be the least of his worries. He said what he stumbled across next made him downright concerned. “
(I saw) fresh bear prints, fresh blood up there too in the snow. (I) saw a bunch of drag marks,” he said. “It was going to be a long, long night.”
After several hours, rescue crews located him. Deputy Keith Bybee said far too often he finds hikers that are not prepared for the elements.
“They don't bring enough food. They don't bring enough water. They don't prepare for an overnight stay and it can get cold or it can be wet,” Bybee explained.
For those reasons, he said, it's crucial for hikers to come prepared. D'Archangel learned that the hard way but the ordeal won’t keep him off the trails.
“I'm going right back out tomorrow,” he said.
D'Archangel just moved here from Indiana because of a love for the outdoors. He said he may just volunteer with search-and-rescue teams in the near future.