Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby OtherHand » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:58 pm

I do not know. Almost all my info comes from the park's records, which I posted online. Those records never went into that level of detail. As far as I know, no one ever contacted Mendoza for details.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby jdclifford » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:16 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. I also recall the road being rather sandy early on and then becoming harder, so I agree that they were probably noticed closer to the lot.

The chairman of the planning commission for 29 Palms is a Greg Mendoza. I was hoping to find an email listed online for him to see if he is the Stubbe Springs Greg Mendoza and ask him directly. No such luck.

Closer to the Juniper Flats Trailhead is probably a good bet.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby adamghost » Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:11 am

Just a head's up, I did film my May walk up Juniper Flats Road for my web series ADAM WALKS AROUND (the series itself was inspired by a suggestion from Ric Capucho from this very board) and it will be released in a couple of weeks. No huge revelations although some things that surprised me personally, since I'd never been in that area myself and relied on everyone else's descriptions of it. It certainly changed my perspective about how likely some scenarios were vs. others. There's a small shout out to the folks on the SJ board in it, and of course Tom. Within the format of the show I tried to craft it to be a precise and accurate primer on Bill's disappearance for people searching on youTube, since one doesn't really exist as of now.

My youTube channel is KarmaFrog1, but I'll also post here when the show goes up, probably around October 7.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby adamghost » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:25 pm

Just to follow up, Bill's episode of ADAM WALKS AROUND premieres tomorrow (Wed., Oct. 7) at 2 p.m. PST. Here's the link.

https://youtu.be/awxZGatWBJU

I tried to stick to all-original content but I did make pretty liberal use of Tom's JT37 Verizon map, since it was impossible to tell the story otherwise, and I gave otherhand.org due credit in the video. Tom, thank you for everything, and watch for an SJ board shout out at the end.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby OtherHand » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:25 pm

Very nicely done, and entertaining. I do miss that terrain greatly. Compared to where I am now, it seems so....friendly.

A few comments:

I don't recall the dogs following anything up the road to Juniper Flat very far. May be, but I can't remember it.

The dogs never checked the bandanna, as far as I know.

The signs you showed are all new since the last time I was there and are quite nice. Signage at the time of Bill's hike was rudimentary, but the route onward to Covington was pretty obvious.

The road in to Juniper Flat (which I think it the riding and hiking trail) actually turned left and went to Stubbe Spring. I believe it was the access route in the old days. The park added a single track return route and thus made it a loop.

It's not clear if you went as far as the trail's end in the center of Juniper Flat, but at that point it becomes a route to the top of Quail and there are several. It's a reasonably hard climb and I estimate upon reaching Juniper Flat proper you're probably only through about 2/3s of the effort required to get to the top of Quail. And you know how you felt by the time you were at Juniper Flat.

Waaay too many damn people! Time to head cross country and lose 98% of them.

Anyway, very good job!
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby adamghost » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:31 pm

Thanks Tom! High praise coming from you, and I'm glad you liked it. Also, great to hear from you.

I was going off the original reports on your site; the report basically said the dog followed the trail to that point and "the dog was recalled" or some other such passive (and odd) language. It makes me think not so much that the dogs lost the scent but they just ran out of time and never could pick up the scent again. But that's just speculation on my part. The puzzling part was a close read of the report indicates the footprints went up the road, but the dog followed the footpath. As I said in the video, I kind of have an easier time believing Bill went up the path and just missed the turn back at Juniper Flats than that he went to Juniper Flats and kept going. But who knows.

The dogs hitting on the bandana is from the original report also IIRC, on a separate outing.

That's fascinating about the road turning to Stubbe. I didn't know that. I'm an old road buff (which will become obvious with the next AWA episode).

I went as far as I could follow the road, but I wasn't right in the middle of the flat, either. It might be that it was a false ending (the Park Service loves those) and I was too out of it (and it was too late in the day) to investigate further.

I figured the signs were probably new, but dang, they really don't make much sense. I knew the whole layout from looking at the maps and I was still really confused.

Yeah, my big takeaway from the whole thing is that hike, taken in hot weather, just sucks. I can't fathom why Bill would have kept going.

Thank you for watching!!!
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