Kim Family Search in Rogue River Wilderness of Oregon 5

The Kim Family Search discussion started here now spans 5 pages of over 4500 comments.
You are on page 5 of the comments. NOTE: The first 150 comments -on this page only- may be out of natural sequence so ignore it when people reference a comment number.

Kim Family Search in Oregon page ONE

Kim Family Search in Oregon page TWO

Kim Search in Oregon page THREE

Kim Search Comments page FOUR

Kim Search page FIVE is right here.

The new pictures from Galice and Bear Camp Road are up here:

Questions for Kati Kim:

Improving travel safety in Bear Camp Road Area:

1,051 thoughts on “Kim Family Search in Rogue River Wilderness of Oregon 5

  1. Hey Madeline I’m moving your comment over here – we cross posted before:

    Madeline wrote:

    Hi Joe, we’re going to need that bar by the time this is over! I can see it now, “Joe Duck’s” would be an instant hit, you’d have people stopping in from far and wide, maps on every wall, etc.

    Comment by Madeleine | December 30, 2006

  2. It was mentioned this morning that helicopters were flying overhead and inferred (to my me, anyway) that the problem was the Kims were just not seen, obscured by the overgrowth, trees, … BUT Kati reported they heard only 2 helicopters all week, one of which she saw the Saturday James left the car, and the other they heard but did not see the day before when they burnt 4 tires.

  3. 7- that was a pretty isolated “hole” that they were parked in. Unless it was a recreational helicopter, none were in the air searching until Friday.

  4. Kip – good job – was about to move your comment over but you did already. It’ll be deleted on earlier page.

    Madeleine I moved your comment to this page and deleted from page 4, and thanks for coming to the digital “bar and grill”!

  5. 4 – You are most welcome, and I meant every word.

    Just remembered a funny event about logging roads. There was a USFS employee in a truck out on the back logging roads, and there was a State employee & truck using the same roads to get into State land for work. They ran into each other – according to proceedure both had to call in and report the accident. Both agencies were required to send someone out to take a report (probably in quadruplicate or something). The back logging roads were so bad that the two responding ended up wrecking into each other! Fortunately they were all traveling slow enough that there were no injuries. Does go to show just how darned difficult these ‘spaghetti roads’ can be to travel on.

  6. Joe – sorry we have become somewhat “high maintenance!” Bet you never expected…we love it when you are here though..I love the idea of “Joe Ducks!” Really, I would go..especially if you had really good barbeque!

  7. 1250- I agree tara, but I still think it would have been hard and intimidating for him to try to build a fire in such
    a wet, and narrow canyon.

    1260- I don’t think you’re being too sensitive – I just
    thought it would be helpful to clarify those things. I
    think it is heroic that are here, and that you seem to
    care so much. You could easily just be cynical and try
    to escape all this – but you are showing how dedicated
    you really are to your work, and that you want to learn.
    And all that says a lot for you.

    Your last sentence is very interesting, and I guess once
    again – we will have to wait till the 5th to hear you
    talk more about that!

  8. No problem JoCoSAR this is fun for me too. I should have done the new page last night late because now people still on page 4 have not seen my comment until they “refresh” the page, yet so they are posting away. It’ll work out soon.

  9. Joe, I know I speak for others when I say how much we appreciate all your work to keep this blog going and freely accessible. I have one suggestion, however. Could the comments be formatted to appear with the “comment by” name and the date up by the comment #, instead of at the end? In that way, we’d know right away who was “speaking” without having to check the end of each message. Is that easily changed in WordPress?

  10. Ok! – I don’t know how to ‘refresh’ the page! I have tried
    different buttons – none of them work. None say refresh,
    etc. I have a 6 year-old laptop. If someone can help me
    find a way to refresh – will I be able to keep whatever
    text I am currently writing in the comment box?

  11. 27- Your welcome……I don’t believe there is a way to refresh without loosing your text because it refeshes the WHOLE page including the text box

  12. (27),(29)…you can do the following to work-around the refresh issue.

    Place your cursor in the text field where you are editting…press ctrl-a, ctrl-c. Ctrl-a will select all the text, ctrl-c will copy the text into the clipboard.

    Press F5, to refresh…

    Reposition your cursor in the text box and press ctrl-V. That will pasted the previously copied text from the clipboard back in the text box.

    RE: Starting fires – I don’t think unless you live in Oregon you can appreciate just how WET it gets around here. Remember that, prior to them getting lost, we had the wettest November ON RECORD in Portland. It was raining torrentially all through the Northwest over Thanksgiving. Someone trained in wilderness survival may have had luck, but it would be very challenging for your average city dweller. Also, James was wearing tennis shoes. It would make it difficult to get deep into the woods where it would be more likely to find some down, dry timber.
    RE: 1204 -Re-reading post 848, I have trouble reconciling “simply wrong” on warning signs with reality as I know it. There is a large sign at Ray’s, right off I-5, there is another 5 miles down the road, well before you ever turn off Merlin/Galice Rd. I can’t speak to the 3rd and 4th signs as the Peavine route plays into that and am not sure where those signs are relative to that route (RRR – can you commnet ?), but if they stayed on Bear Camp, they passed 4 signs in total. At a minimum, they passed 2. I don’t think, by any means, that justifies Pacs ridiculous attacks, but there are warning signs prominently & frequently placed. Even in heavy rain at nighttime they are visible.

  14. Lisa:
    F5 is best for refresh if it works for you, otherwise you can “reload” from the browser toolbar “view” or right click and then “reload”.

    Posting a comment reloads the page automatically, so for the hundreds (or thousands) or folks out there just looking in without commenting go ahead and … say something!

    Ellen – Although it’s doable, and I agree that would be a better format, it would make this section inconsistent with too many other pages in this blog and other WordPress blogs so I want to leave it as now.

    JoCoSAR – I’ll look into showing the timestamp of the posts – that won’t change the format much and it would be helpful.

  15. 33- Ah, yes! I see! Thanks glenn!

    You know, when I first woke up this morning, I turned
    on my laptop. I was wondering, ‘what’s happening on
    the blog!’ Before I was even out of bed! It’s amazing
    how addictive it can be!

  16. I’ve noticed that most seem to think James slept (peacefully?) overnight at the location the 1st clothing articles were found. A depression in the ground was found at this point, apparently. I question this assumption. 1st, that location is not too far from the road. I’m guessing, but I would think he could have arrived at that point by early afternoon. If so, it wouldn’t be likely he would attempt to bed down for the night so early in the day. .. 2nd, the further James got down the drainage the more difficult the going would be. More and more he would, by necessity, be confined to use the creek to make headway. If that were the case he’d be getting wetter with each step. By nightfall he could have been soaked. No traces of any campfire were found. Doesn’t surprise me given the extreme wetness down there. To think that he could have survived even one night awake, or asleep, I’ve have difficulty accepting. Temperature freezing & he exhausted, hungry, worried, soaked. ?? If James did indeed survive that awful night he is even more of a superman than I thought.

  17. (35) Good point about the local situation…I want to make a very important point. You never look for firewood on the ground – it will be soaked to the core and never burn.

    I will make one more point…how many of you have gone out and cut down your own christmas trees? Now keep in mind that you spend a lot of time to pick the perfect looking healthy tree…right? How many christmas trees have you cut down that didn’t have dead branches on it?

    In this type of situation you need to find the dead branches within the trees to get a fire started…even if the branches are wet (but dead) you can rub them with your seatbelt to remove the wet covering and get to dry dead wood that will burn.

  18. 39 – KIP / I’ve wondered that too. It has been a while, but when you think back to the posts of the ex-military fellow relaying how he felt after a week with no food, it especially makes you wonder. Also makes you wonder where those 2 lighters are….in the gravel at the bottom of Big Windy ?

  19. 35- Paul, the warning signs are there – but the warnings
    are to be unprofessional – wimpy and lame!

    “Maybe Blocked – Snowdrifts Ahead” is vague, wimpy, and lame!

    Maybe – Maybe not! How big? What time of the year is the road blocked? Where I grew up – most snowdrifts were not huge. I played in snowdrifts! To me snowdrifts do not
    sound threatening!

    Also in my life I have seen so many warning signs for

    Rockslides – never seen one there!

    Deer – sometimes, but mostly no.

    The signs are inadequate warnings of the dangers ahead!

    Wimpy – lame – insufficient, etc.!

  20. Somewhere around here someone posted the locations of the warning signs on BC. I’m trying to find it, but if someone has the info it would save time.

  21. (40) RE: Fires. Glenn’s bringing up something that has confused me all along and that is why more and a much bigger fire was not built by James both at the car (for signalling) and then down in the drainage for warmth. In fact I’m inclined to think like Kip that he did not survive the first night because it seems there would have been evidence of a fire or pieces of burned paper trying to start one.

    Even in wet conditions you can get a fire going with matches or lighters, and if you get a big fire going you can pitch in fresh wood pulled off trees that will burn, especially if you dry it first around the bonfire. James had outdoor experience and wouldn’t he have known this approach?

  22. 45- From accounts I’ve read from friends – James loved
    the outdoors! But he was not a wilderness expert or
    aficionado! He loved to go camping!

    Plus he was incredibly stressed, cold, and malnourished.

    I bet he tried, but it seemed too hard.

    I don’t think there’s anyway he made all that distance

  23. re: Fires… Once a fire is big and hot enough it’ll consume almost anything combustible, even soaking wet rotten or green wood. The trick is to get it going really big and hot 1st. Then it is relatively easy to keep it burning, ongoing, if movable timber is available nearby. Gasoline from the Saab could have helped build such a fire.

  24. I think that if for whatever reasons, it had been
    easier for him to build a fire, he would have…

    I don’t think it was an area where he had a lot of
    knowledge or skill sets.

  25. (45)(46) Yes I have wondered about that too. Even in the wetest conditions you can build a small fire on top of green logs but I guess a lot of people don’t know that unless you have been trained or had experience with klondike style camping.

    Curious how we wasn’t found with lighters.

    I think he made it two days for sure out there. Attitude and determination are huge factors in survival…James certain had those. After so many days without food, etc it is truly super human the effort he made. I am sure we was on a kind of auto-pilot with one goal and one goal only.

  26. glenn I want to believe he was out there two days also, but the lighter thing keeps bugging me. I believe there would have been evidence of attempted fire if he’d been out there that long.
    oh course, along that thinking we know he spent one night out there and they didnt find fire there….
    but the missing lighters makes me think he attempted to use them and either couldnt and left them or lost them.
    Im argueing with myself… sorry.

  27. JoCoSAR …I’m having difficulty with your [1239] comment “I can tell you however, that from Friday on, there were helicopters overhead that would have seen ANY smoke from that area”

    The Kims burnt 4 tires Friday. They heard 1 helicopter, it was somewhere in the distance. Certainly it (not they) wasn’t overhead. If any helicopter was even remotely nearby I’m sure Kati and James would have done anything and everything they could to attract its attention.

  28. 50- I believe that the first night he was away from the car he might not have slept and just pushed on threw the night hopeing to find help thinking he wasen’t all that far away so with pushing on threw the night he wouldn’t have had time to make a fire.

  29. 51 I don’t have an answer for that…I don’t suppose I have a basis for argument right now.
    My purpose for mentioning the “hole” that they were in was to point out that they may not have heard all of the air activity unless is was very very close. When I was up there with helicopters overhead, standing outside my vehicle, even knowing that they were coming, I couldn’t hear them until they were in sight, almost directly overhead.

  30. 43 / Lisa: clearly the verbage on the signs needs re-working, the Kims are far from the 1st to misinterpret them. I just was addressing this statement: “Pac’s allegations that Kati and James ignored multiple warning signs are just simply wrong based upon what Kati has told me.” I am no fan of Pac. I realize the signs need re-working, but there are numerous signs and it’s not fair, IMO, to condemn BLM for that or imply – as that quote does – that there are NO signs. There are 4 of them.
    I also think it is highly subjective as to the verbage being “wimpy and lame”…to me, the word “blocked” is pretty strong. There are exact mileage figures in conjuntion with the signs (I assume the miles to the summit). To me, those signs say, very precisely, that if you continue on this road you may find it impassable and potentially blocked by snow.
    When you repeat that message 4 times, it should be weighed carefully before proceeding.

  31. 51 I don’t have an answer for that…I don’t suppose I have a basis for argument right now.
    My purpose for mentioning the “hole” that they were in was to point out that they may not have heard all of the air activity unless is was very very close. When I was up there with helicopters overhead, standing outside my vehicle, even knowing that they were coming, I couldn’t hear them until they were in sight, almost directly overhead.

  32. glenn & tara… has it been determined absolutely that James could not have possibly reached his final location in one day, given the nature of the terrain he was travelling, and the distance he traversed and the impossibility of travel at night?

  33. I am having a real problem here with posting…I am trying to post in the 50’s, but they keep showing up in 20’s??? Way huge technical problem!!!

  34. #43 / Lisa: clearly the verbage on the signs needs re-working, the Kims are far from the 1st to misinterpret them. I was addressing this statement: “Pac’s allegations that Kati and James ignored multiple warning signs are just simply wrong based upon what Kati has told me.” I am no fan of Pac. I realize the signs need re-working, but there are numerous signs and it’s not fair, IMO, to condemn BLM for that or imply – as that quote does – that there are no warning signs. There are 4 of them.
    I also think it is highly subjective as to the verbage being “wimpy and lame”…to me, the word “blocked” is pretty strong, it means you can’t get through. There are exact mileage figures in conjuntion with the signs (I assume the miles to the summit). To me, those signs say, very precisely, that if you continue on this road you MAY (not will, which is a problem) find it impassable and blocked by snow.
    When you repeat that message 4 times, it should be weighed carefully before proceeding. Perhaps they did, decided to procede anyway, and then got lost.

  35. The questions I wonder about the most are those we’ll never
    know the answers to, and that’s what James really did in
    that canyon. I really wish we could know more of a timeline.
    All we really know is the distance he covered.

    I think the part about only finding one sleeping indentation
    is not the only possibilty. I have had hypothermia, and if
    I felt the need to sleep in a cold wet canyon, I would have leaned against something in a squatting position.

    JoCoSAR and RRR, if you’re still there – the hotspot that
    was found Monday night that they thought could be James – was that where they found part of a trail on Tuesday?

  36. Somehow, one of my posts got duped, in different places with slightly different content. I have no idea how that happened. Apologies, not trying to belabor a subject.

  37. Glenn why are you confident James was out for two days? Distance supports 2 days based on very tough going in the Canyon. Hiking on a road, when motivated even if you are weak, tends to go fast.

  38. 74- Its hard to see if since they all get mixed in to the mingle with the other blogs, but do you see that either no one else is posting or that it is just us….

  39. Very odd – nope, not just you guys stuck in the weird posting loop. Looks like all comments are hitting in the MIDDLE of the numbers. Strange. Anyway, hello!

  40. I just spoke with Joe and he is working on it right now he believes that something may have gone wrong with the page and may have to open a new one up

  41. Joe Duck has officially joined SAR efforts to recover Paul, Tara, JoCo, RRR & Glenn, who are wondering aimlessly all over the internet trying to find their way back to their proper order.

  42. See, this is why if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… I’ll live without time stamps if all that never happens again. That was icky.

  43. (77) Because SAR has reported they found a “camp-site” where it looks like he slept. He would not have been able to move around in the dark. I think he got up on Sunday and moved down the creek. When he go to that point and saw it was virtually impossible to continue – I think it overwhelmed him and he died right there in his tracks. He was dead before he hit the water. Morbid but what I think happened.

  44. Not JoCo’s fault, Joe Duck’s fault. I was trying to mess with time stamping and wound up correcting the clock. Some of the comments came in with “wrong” time stamps. WordPress uses that to decide who to put first.

  45. so, this is all fine for those of us who have been here through’s gonna be a problem for newcomers!!! What a mess we made!!!!

  46. 115 – Glenn, the thing that puzzles me still (perhaps answered long ago but I missed it) is why the initial reports of James’ recovery said he’d been alive until “just hours” before found? What led to those media reports? I know the autopsy was inconclusive due to his exposure to the elements, but it sounded as if help had been so tantalizingly close. Perhaps the irony of him being found relatively close to where he might have been seen made it seem more dramatic in the stories.

  47. I say we call a lunch break…..NO ONE TALKS for the next hour and half and let Joe get eveything back in order and working properly and the rest of us can take a break from here without having an anxity attack of thinking we might miss something any seconds???

  48. (138) Joe at the same time…Verizon fiber just took a hit. Probably all the video feeds today and SoDamned Insane.

    The http stack was out of commission. I had to remote in to one of my servers on a completely different backbone to access a browser and get here…LOL

    Verizon seems to be back running smoothly now.

  49. Yay! Thanks Joe!

    I wanted to repost this because I think it might
    have gotten lost in the blogosphere spininings…

    The questions I wonder about the most are those we’ll never
    know the answers to, and that’s what James really did in
    that canyon. I really wish we could know more of a timeline.
    All we really know is the distance he covered.

    I think the part about only finding one sleeping indentation
    is not the only possibilty. I have had hypothermia, and if
    I felt the need to sleep in a cold wet canyon, I would have leaned against something in a squatting position – like a
    tree or a rock – with my backpack and maybe some clothing behind me to soften it up.

    JoCoSAR and RRR, if you’re still there – the hotspot that
    was found Monday night that they thought could be James – was that where they found part of a trail on Tuesday?

  50. (145) My guess is that Jame’s body was no longer in a state of R.M. Since he was flacid it was probably assumed that he had just died.

  51. 51 (or whatever number asking) I don’t have an answer for that…I don’t suppose I have a basis for argument right now.
    My purpose for mentioning the “hole” that they were in was to point out that they may not have heard all of the air activity unless is was very very close. When I was up there with helicopters overhead, standing outside my vehicle, even knowing that they were coming, I couldn’t hear them until they were in sight, almost directly overhead

  52. We have been here and not there for far too long now!! Real life has to continue somehow…(how did that sound? if I say it enough to myself…)

  53. Seems as though real life has been so long ago…search, surgery, now this. Wonder if it will ever be the way it was for me personally??

  54. Re: 1204 Coordination of private search efforts

    The official response will undoubtedly be that private search efforts should only start up after the official search has been called off and that all prior private search resources should be under the control of the official search coordinator. Officials never like outsiders coming in at all and look at how the information from the cell phone engineer was mishandled and misunderstood.

    If the Kims burned tires at night for heat, I would fault them for wasting the primary resource available to them: smoke. I do not know if there were any boughs nearby that were dry enough to burn even if they also produced a great deal of smoke.

    There were several problems involving timing: they did not know when people would start to miss them. A hotel ‘no show’ even one who called and specifically asked for the key to be left out is generally NOT going to trigger a search effort or even a ‘welfare check’ telephone call. Someone would have to see the smoke who was not out looking for them and few motorists would really be out in that area in that weather even if they knew the local roads and knew which ones to stay on in order to get to the coast. It may be that the Kims did not think to spread engine oil on the tires first. It may also be that they did not consider burning three tires in one great big smoke column but felt their chances would be better to burn them serially and so prolong both the signal value and the heat factor.

    Decisions to leave the vehicle and the final decision to leave the road perhaps to get to the stream and make ‘better progress’ were made after several days of no food and unwise use of body heat to melt snow.

  55. 152- addition

    I would have leaned against something and and huddled to stay more warm and dry (wet cold ground – even with some clothing backpack on it etc. would be very, very cold) I would go for the sitting position.

    And not a lot of areas of clear flat ground anyway, so it
    would be a logical choice.

    Also, when I got deeper into hypothermia, I was so cold –
    and uncomfortable that I couldn’t sleep – my body couldn’t
    relax properly so that I could really sleep.

    I agree that he may even have tried to stay on the move
    as much as possible in the dark to try to stay warm.

  56. [128] … Maggie..”See, this is why if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

    was my 1st thot too! how many times I’ve done that, still do that!!

  57. Sorry but it’s not looking good for properly ordering the comments above. I’m going to go in and change some times on comments but not sure that’ll do it.

    Also note that normal blog convention is to say the person’s NAME if you are replying to what they said, this makes it fairly easy to follow conversation threads even if number is not there.

  58. I’m in Medford now, our trip down here yesterday was uneventful on Hwy 38. The daughter, grandson, and son-in-law are great. I’ll never be able to catch up on here while I’m here, too much a full time job to catch up.

  59. Joe,

    Now’s the time for your Bar – if we had a few martini’s right now we really wouldn’t care what order the previous posts are in . . .

    Thanks for the directions on name – we could start including name and post number to leave our trail of crumbs . . . Thanks for the rescue!!

  60. (170) DH, the shortest version – we played with maps and learned about the Peavine route possibility, discussed more about sunk-cost and it’s origins vs. just got screwed on a wrong turn, experimented with German/Japanese phrases, discussed the GIS/mapping stuff as it relates to Josephine Count and resources, discussed how many nights James likely made it (did not have 2 lighters when found), how to still make a fire/smoke signal with wet wood, and some other stuff (I know I missed a bunch). How’s that? 😉

  61. 48- Paul – first I hope you know by now that sometimes
    just because I feel strongly about something – it has
    nothing to do with anything personal to you or anyone else
    for that matter!

    All Kati’s Dad was refuting was that they didn’t “purposefully” ignore the signs.

    Reading signs is always subjective, that’s why the
    point is to make them so strong and clear in a truly
    potentially dangerous situation.

    People don’t drive by and say, “Hmmmm… Let me read this
    sign in an objective manner…”

    The word ‘Blocked’ may be a strong word, but the words
    ‘May Be’ are not. I have seen lots of signs that say ‘Rocklides’ – also a strong word, and that does not always mean there are rock slides present. I don’t turn around because I see a sign that says ‘Rockslides’.

    The signs are not strong enough, period. 50% of the SAR
    cases they do each winter are tourists trying to get to
    the coast. That percentage is too high.

  62. D.H. Welcome to Southern Oregon! Your family is going to think it’s funny when you keep borrowing their computer to check in!

    Angela – Hey, I will serve virtual drinks so people can be virtual drunks yet still drive home from their keyboards.

  63. Joe (175)

    Great idea for virtual drinks – you could even deliver them in an animated version of the old fasioned SAR tool – St. Bernard with drinks on the collar!!

  64. 174 & 180 DH & Tara, I know I missed a lot, but I was too lazy to go look back. Oh, and I did forget that there was all the crazy posting problems above where much got screwed up. Now you are somewhat up to date DH 😉 I’m walking away for a bit, so when I come back I might need a summary if you people get crazy again.

  65. 175 / Joe: so it looks like we are ok now ? I stayed away for a while so you could work in peace….but, hey, if you are buying, I’ll take a virtual Kamikazee on the rocks.

  66. 175)Joe – actually, they EXPECT me to be on their computer. I had been better about that the past year or two tho. Oh well, back at my addiction again…

    We drove on 38 then down I5 past the Merlin exit, it was eerie. The freeway signs don’t say route to the coast, that’s for sure. Even by the freeway, the hills around the area are very steep, thus the name of the town “Canyonville”… where there is a casino lit up like a circus with a big truck stop style gas station. And a motel to stay in.

  67. Paul I think we are OK and back in sequence except for several in the middle there. I’m not deleting them because then even more numbers won’t work, though I may erase some of them later.

    Here’s the Kamikaze – it’s on the house:

  68. I show up and the place slows down, no wonder I post like no one’s listening and admit I sleep on my office floor!

    Fools Gold – this post is directed to your suggestion on the last page about volunteers (and not so volunteers like youth offenders) doing some data collection in the woods.

    I was wondering if you could expand on this idea a little more. I think I follow you. It sounds like your talking about a very low-tech kind of geocoding (not one based on strict addressing and naming conventions, but just a searcher saying, hey guys I searched up until the red bird house on logging road 16 today) and then having someone log that for that night in the gis system.

    Am I right there? Beacause gecoding usually relies on strict address matching, but your idea could work given the volunteers your talking about would simply have to walk around with a gps and get coordinates (no attribute data entry really, and little qa/qc by higher staff).

    If it got more serious than that…I wouldn’t want any youth offenders doing the data collection! 🙂

    But I would like to hear more about your suggestion and maybe this falls under an earlier question by RRR and JoCo if it would be worthwhile to gps the logging roads…sounds like they have that info already, but may benefit from gpsing some landmarks a long those roads for a rough sort of geocoding process.

    do I follow you right?

  69. joe, I would travel to orgon for your bar and grill, its hard to find such good clientele in my neighborhood! Though I could see us regulars hovering over a map and then pac walks in and the tumbleweeds scatter, and then glenn walks in the others side….there could be some good brawls, it could be very exciting actually, but could ultimatley end up closed by the sherriff.

    I’d still go.

  70. Mapper, do you or anyone know if there are mile markers on the logging roads? I’m guessing not. Ideally there would be markers with the road name/code included along with the mileage marker. From what I’ve seen on the map, however, it would be a huge undertaking to mark those roads.

  71. Angela re: St Barnard – I like that idea. Maybe at the DangerData blog we’ll have a “chat room” like that for the less serious conversations.

    I’m still having trouble deciding on the best format for the two things you we’ll want to do which is collect valuable info and ideas *plus* provide a friendly environment where people will participate.

    My personal feeling is that Forums don’t do either very well. Blogs like this are not made for “chatting” but you can get by OK as people have done so far.

    OK I’m gone for awhile, so nobody mess anything up or be mean to others or hit their dog or ….. OK?

  72. If Joe served Espresso-tini’s I’d be there (one track mind that I have). Mapper that was a funny description of how it would be – so true!

  73. 189/Joe – Well, I can guess that if RRR were on right now there would be a counter-suggestion to just all gather on the deck at the resort in Galice overlooking the Rogue, but after checking out the ample portion of virtual Kamikazee you sent, I think Joe’s Bar and Grill on Bear Camp Summit (only open in summer) sounds good.

  74. If it is no….it would be great if along with “you are here maps” maybe someone could install some kind of inexpensive marking system, much like mile markers, as this would help people, searchers, and geocoding processes tremendously.

    I do not know if anything like this is in place, much to think about.

  75. (193) Mapper, the “you are here” maps haven’t been mentioned in awhile – those really, really are one of the best ideas in my opinion. Any FS roads I’ve ever been on have been barely marked, if at all. Even if I’d had a cell signal and could have called someone, it would have been useless to describe where I was beyond “I see trees. Lots of trees. And I think I turned left before I got all twisted around.” Even just a few of the right kind of markings would be a good thing, I think.

  76. Maggie,

    yes the “you are here maps” are one of the best in my opinion also. I was talking about them constantly for awhile, but I guess with all the newcomers, new pages, etc. it doesn’t hurt to throw that out there again! Maybe Joco and RRR with their position could bring this up at a meeting with USFS if they ever meet together?

  77. Mapper, GeoCoding:

    I was suggesting the use of numerous but admitedly less-experienced volunteers for a massive data acquisition project that would take pleace under non-emergency conditions prior to a search.

    This would allow SAR people to have GPS annotated maps and search logs. Consider perhaps the man who reported he traveled one road until the snow gave out and he hit bare ground. Well, no one knows where that is on a map and he was probably without a GPS unit but if he is able to say that it was ‘about half a mile past a creek crossing the road at a guard rail’ such prior geocoding of creeks, roads, guardrails, drainpipes, firebreaks and directional signs might help SAR personnel to always have a more precise view of what has been searched and what has not been searched. A boy scout troop with no knowledge of ArcInfo can still gather a good deal of helpful information without use of public funds for trained GIS specialists.

  78. and when people say, well what could they have done in the middle of the night? well, in my opinion, the gis people are great to be in the center, getting the last reports for the day, and using the info to prepare new maps for the next day.

  79. The “you are here” idea sounds great. Is this map on a wood sign or is this something where some can take a free map. Who would keep the latter stocked up? The former sounds good to me, if, they are located all over the place.

  80. dkf747

    yes, we were talking about this a bit more in the earlier pages. I envisioned just a sort of wooden structure, holding a large 3×4 foot map (or so, but large) under some pretty good encasing to keep vandals out. Just a good USFS map, with a nice low tech sticker dot on it saying “you are here”

    this would help a lost person temendously, and could prevent someone from getting lost. and its really not expensive. in fact, make those young offenders build the structure!!

  81. Suggestion: Whenever we come upon a “you are here” map or some other information kiosk where take-away copies aren’t available, we take a picture of it with a digital camera. We can then “read” the map off the back of the camera as we go along. Not everyone has a digital camera with them when they get lost, but many do and might not think of using it as an option. So it might be worth posting that as a suggestion on the kiosk itself.

  82. It has quieted down a lot. The last few times that has happened something momentous has come along…JoCoSar…RRR…Kati’s dad…will there be another catalyst ?

  83. I actually kind of get a sense of anticipation when it gets quiet because it has never lasted for very long. Maggie, I can’t help after last night commenting how much Maggie is close to Mapper. You put forth quite the effort last night, I was impressed.

  84. Off to the grocery…now watch, after saying that (205) and going away for a bit, I’m going to come back to a smouldering laptop, 300 new posts, and some new guest that will shake things up again. 🙂

  85. 162- No there was not a “trail” that you could walk on it wsa all bush cutting thick yucky terrain……I use the word “trail” as a generic word for the path James traveled

  86. Hello there…anyone remember my thoughts on “overwhelming?” Well..I am here to remind you that the weekend after xmas at Walmart is just simply WRONG!!!!!!!

  87. I am leaving for awhile, but I think the things fools gold brought up are very worthwhile taking some time to mull over and talking over with your gis people to see if this is something already in the works, or could be done with some volunteers. just a thought.

    and maybe the you are here maps, if you have any kind of pull with the usfs people.

    haha. I hope I dont sound like I am giving you tasks, I dont mean it like that.

  88. Well yet again the press prints the Kim story, in our local Daily Courier paper AKA Daily Discourager, the news room staff have voted the “KIM STORY” to be the number one story for the 2006 year……

  89. mapper – I already told you that I am here to learn…I will not only take suggestions, but take “tasks” the best that I can. Thank you. I will have to read up on fools gold suggestion a little bit more! I was just scanning trying to catch up…

  90. 210- RRR, if you’re still here – do you know where the
    hot spot they found on Monday night that could have been
    James was in relation to the trail of clothes they found
    on Tuesday?

  91. 216 – Haven’t left quite yet, why is that paper no available online ??…this is the 21st Century last time I checked.

    211 – I can only imagine.

    212 – I would include almost ANY retail outlet after X-mas, but that could be cause I’m a guy.

    Susan has not been around for a while. I wonder if she has heard anything from Peter S at the Boregonian ? Do you two (JoCo/RRR) have any sense of how much of the 2 investigations will see the light of day and full public disclosure ??

  92. 219- I don’t know what that particular paper is not online….to keep their subscribtions up to par I dunno its not a paper worth having in my opinion…

    212- I don’t know what will be disclosed…….your guess is as good as mine

  93. 211- p.s. Paul – It’s some Mel Gibson movie vs. President
    Ford’s funeral vs. Ferris Buellers Day Off (sp?) on tv.
    That’s some competition! I love FB’s Day Off – but I have
    seen it more than once, and it’s almost over…

    213- That would be fun to see your dance!

  94. 224 – I’m just waiting for the annual New Years Twilight Zone Marathon to start.

    Well, see you after grocery shopping. I think it is a ladies club only at the moment.

  95. If you all want to you can go back and look at the press interview with Lt Hastings where he has all the maps, it would give you an idea of the hot spots and clothes found…..

  96. 229- the reason why I ask is because I heard it on the
    news that when they went to investigate the smaller of the
    two hot spots on Monday night – the one that ‘could’ have
    been James – they found the trail of clothes.

  97. 234-Good to know Dial up works on here i have it at work and I have been hesitant to go cause I didn’t want to miss anything here (he he he he)

  98. Mapper, I recall a posting on another site, and I think I saw it quoted here, from a person who had been lost in the same area as the Kims. They said there was a wooden “you are here” sign at the summit, but that it bore no relationship to the map they had, the roads didn’t look anything the same. Any such sign would have resemble maps the person was likely to have, since you can’t take the sign with you for reference.

  99. It wouldn’t have replicated the map, it was only to help you get through the detour. I think that I posted the detour instructions last night when maggie was trying to retrace map. That was a while ago. Don’t think that map is even there anymore. There was a matching you are here map at the bottom of the Peavine road too, I know for sure that one is gone now…

  100. Thanks, JoCo. The sheer number of roads would make it really tough for a comprehensive “you are here” map. Similarly, it’s not likely that anyone would want to fund a bunch of call boxes up there scattered on the roads.

  101. [210] .. RRR… thanx for responding. in fact as soon as I hit the send button I asked myself why I was asking the [162] trail question, because I knew what you meant, probably.

    another question: can you describe a bit the terrain and the difficulty of hiking from the road down to the depression spot where it has been assumed James bedded down for the night? could he have made good time or was it real hard slogging? also was he following a running stream that 1st leg down the drainage?

  102. All I seem to have time to do here in Medford is LURK… it’s irritating. I’m not a natural watcher… just thought I’d check in to say hi. I am however feeling strangely “drawn” to the Merlin/Galice area right now. I should drag my son in law over there.

  103. Oh yeah, talked to my son-in-law, both he and my daughter have driven Bear Camp to pick up a raft. My son in law all his life, my daughter I think once with a trailer on the back. My son-in-law knows the Galice resort, that’s for sure.

  104. Madeleine

    A lot can be done on a 3×4 foot map, and the USFS (probably the one joco used in the search) would probably do it. It would be different than the ODOT map and it has to be. The odot map cannot have the kind of detail that the area needs. It would not match the road map unless the travellers had called ahead or gotten a map from the usfs before visiting the area.

    does that make sense?

    I had also read about the wood carving….that wont quite cut it, no 🙂

    This is why the ODOT map also needs, if they are going to have bear camp on the map, an inset that says, “contact usfs for a more detiailed map”

  105. All – I just wrote, but haven’t yet sent, an e-mail to the America’s Most Wanted show. I’m thinking they must have a fairly good system for triage when the calls pour in, and they also must have a some software or a special data base for handling the data they collect. Think it’s worth a try?

  106. Wow, Madeleine, I do think that’s a very good idea. There really does need to be a way of sorting through tons of tips that helps ensure that none of the “good” ones get lost in the shuffle. I have no idea how that works, but I bet they do.

  107. 242- I can’t answer questions about the drainage that he followed from the road, simply because I wasen’t in that area at all…However I can tell you in general about the terrain of the area……STEEP, heavly wooded, some shail, damp moss covered, lots of down shrub to cut threw, traveling was not easy in this area, I would say it was kinda take one step fall back 3….

  108. 248- Just and example in one area we had a “ROAD” searcher go just a big off the road to look at something and they were UNABLE to come back up the side because of the terrain….

  109. Madeleine – I love that idea about AMW!!! That is really cool thinking! See, that is what I love about this place! I would have never thought of that! I hope that they answer!

  110. Warning Signs – just thinking: Has our litigious society created an environment of ubiquitious warnings to the point that we have become immune to even seeing them? It seems that absolutely everything has multiple warnings – often against such totally obvious misuse that it’s to the point of riduculous. Add to that the multitude of advertising signage and flashing neons it leads to overwhelm.

    How can signage be added that is
    1)”In your face – unavoidable”;
    2) cost effective;
    3) vandalism resistant;
    4) still allow access (for winter sports, etc.)
    5)all while Dire enough to get through our overwhelmed brains?

  111. Mapper – I wonder if one was to put up a sign/map like the one you talk about, if someone got lost and said that they were following the map, if there would be any sort of liability for the person or agency who put up the map and highlighted the routes?

  112. I have a website I could post it to. I’ll send you my email address and I can get it posted with a link.

    Later, we could have Joe add it to this site if we choose.

  113. Hi Folks just checking in but cannot stay. JoCo if you scan in a news article I can post it later – by 8pm – if you can email me the image, but I can’t stay right now.

  114. Actually photobucket or (my preference) – both are easy to use and setup accounts. Then you just link to the URL in your account. But note that way can compromise your identity if you post other pix.

  115. Good to see you are still being kept in line, Joe. It sounds like lots of us are kind of in that same intervention boat. Enjoy your dinner (I’ll be driving thru for mine in a bit and eating it in front of my keyboard – yep, pathetic).

  116. hi guys, I am kinda not paying full attention, but yes it is standard practice to put a disclaimer on maps and most agencies including usfs people and joco gis people are probably fully aware of this.

  117. joco I assume it would fall under the usfs or blm responsibility to put up these kinds of signs. But if joco were to take on this sort of responsibility I could send you examples of good disclaimers, though I bet its already in the fine print of the stuff your gis people already do. Its a funny thing, one of the things I never noticed before going into cartography, but if you look closely most maps have a disclaimer on them.

  118. Maggie? Do you have time to talk further about the “alternate route” you posted — was it yesterday? — on Google Earth? I have some questions I’d like to ask you.

  119. Ok, so after all of the offers of posting, we can’t find the article in the box of saved papers…darnit!!! We will keep looking. It was a BCR article with a photo of the sign at the base. I guess we could have driven out there and taken a new one in that amount of time!

  120. Well, I’m just curious what you think is there most likely route? The white one? Looking at the photos I’ve seen of the site where the car was recovered, it certainly appears that that is the way in which the car was headed.

  121. (271) Ellen, If I had to guess, I’d say most likely they went as it’s been shown on all of the other maps in the media (which didn’t really show how they went before they got to that “fork” off of Bear Camp Road – so the Peavine route by JoCo and River was really interesting). What I have tried to say everywhere possible whenever I have shared what I traced in white is that it truly is just simply another way to get there. I have no reason to think that’s the way they went. In fact, the elevations are higher on that alternate route, so it sounds like it is actually unlikely. I, too, was curious that in the pictures I’ve seen, it really does look like the car is facing as if it came up the way I traced but doubt they took. I’ve heard in some places that they were able to turn the car around before stopping that night, so that’s a possibility. What I did not trace are a few more ways to get to that exact same spot. Maybe I will just to see.

    In a nutshell, I am inclined to believe their path is probably exactly how it’s been shown in the media, but I thought Google Earth was cool and decided to play around just to see if it could be any other way. And it could be, but I have no reason to think it was.

  122. (273) To me it looks like there is a fair amount of room right there to have turned around since it’s almost like a 3-way intersection of sorts.

  123. But don’t you think it possible that the media (and others) have just traced that one route (the green one on your Google Earth file) because of the MISTAKE that was made earlier on by the officials in locating the car? Oh… they weren’t HERE, they were all the way up HERE, so we’ll just keep connecting these dots. But it may have been that they went your way (or some other way) after all. Right?

  124. (276) Maybe. I don’t know how we would ever know because even if Kati’s memory is very sharp, if they were very lost I don’t know that she would have an answer. The difference in elevation between the white “alternate” route I drew compared to the one I drew in green based on what we’ve seen is pretty significant, especially on a night when it was snowing. But yes, I can see what you mean, how since they already had drawn to the incorrect position they may only have extrapolated from that assuming that the Kim’s had just gone further instead of that they went differently. Hard to say.

  125. It’s time for me to drive thru somewhere so that I can come back and sit in front of my keyboard for the rest of the night. I’m so lucky to have the kind of man I do who hasn’t given me much of a hard time (well, he has made some faces at me, but then for lunch he brought me a sandwich…). Please hold off on anything I wouldn’t want to miss while I’m gone…

  126. does anyone know who did the offical drawing, or had the final say in the route?

    I havn’t really been paying attention to this part since I have other parts of the case that interest me, but this particular question, of who had the final say or did the drawing is a good question.

  127. I was just interested to ask because I’ve been so interested to play with Google Earth and to try to consider what might have been in James’s plan. If he was just trying to get down to the river, there were other drainages that he passed that would have gotten him there more quickly. Even had he taken the “white route” as he headed back on foot, he could have entered the Big Windy drainage sooner. As you say, we may never know, but it’s just so interesting to consider.

    Kati’s story, when she tells it, will certainly shed light on it. And the reports next week might help our understanding as well. It’s just hard to stop wondering.

    But — for my own part — I certainly think that the misplaced location of the car has something to do with the “common wisdom” thinking that that was the route the Kims took.

  128. (282) Ellen, it is interesting, for certain. Maybe I’m wrong and Kati would somehow remember – I’d just be pretty surprised considering how dark and how lost. But maybe. I agree that anything is possible.

    (283) Mapper, I miss my laptop that died while back…

  129. While I too doubt that Kati will be able to recite the “turn by turn” experience of getting lost, I have a certainty that she’ll remember more of what she and James discussed about where they THOUGHT they were and about what the plan should be for him to seek help.

  130. Maggie that is terrible. I do love my laptop….but I am officially working right now (I have two jobs can you tell!?) but I am working remotley, on some side work. The laptop is great for the work I do, but I can’t help but keep checking on joe’s forum! I have convinced myself this is keeping my mind sharp, good excuse eh?

  131. imagine that you’re at the command post…word arrives that the car and the girls have been found. Footprints were followed in the direction of the car toward the Big Windy drainage and over the side. The girls are picked up by helicopter at the car. All search efforts and attention are now at the drainage. It took a very long time for someone to get coordinates of where the vehicle was. Someone from the search finally (2 1/2 hrs later) came in and pointed at the original location on the map. That is where GIS put the vehicle. For two days, searchers were sent to the field to monitor roadways from the intersection to the vehicle. Nobody ever came back and said it was different. When we finally obtained the correct coordinates, it was corrected. The fact is, it didn’t matter. The search was never from the car, it was from the top of the drainage. To the management team, the exact car location was only a curiosity, not an important detail in the search for James. It was after the search was over, and paperwork was gone through that the location was corrected. Clues were left along that route by James from the car to the drainage. It is only my personal opinion that he would have walked out the same way that he drove in. I hope that clears that up.

  132. (292) Thank you, JoCo. That does make sense. I agree that James was more likely to have left the car they way they came.

    I’ll ponder this while I drive, but if I do not feed my man now, he may never fix me another sandwich in front of the keyboard (that would be bad), so I’ll have to go and come back shortly.

  133. JoSoCAR

    I guess my question is (and by the way in the prehistoric days of our posting here, I defended that whole car locatoin thing and the coordinates!:)

    Do you know how we have come to an official “route” that they took? or who the person is that determined the route?

  134. JoCoSAR, that absolutely clears things up. I wasn’t thinking of it from the point of view of the timing of the rescue (which you, of course, would). I was only trying to think of it from the point of view of James and Kati. Where were they, how did they get there, where did they THINK they were, and what was the strategy for James to get help.

    How confident are you that James entered the drainage at that particular spot (and not higher up)?

  135. Otherwise, I suppose we just come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter (except in our sick and twisted over focused minds)?

  136. I think that I remember hearing Kati saying somewhere that her and James had been looking at a map in the car. This is where they determined together where they thought they were….James thought he was only 4 river miles from the great big town of Galice. I believe that was his mission…

  137. Well, 99.9% is good enough for me! Thanks. I’ll go back to my privately and quietly pondering with that in my “sick and twisted over focused mind.” 😉

  138. well, I think the official route matters, to focus on signage and maps, and where people are likely to go wrong.

    Like I said, I havn’t taken the time to really focus on this portion of the case, but I hadn’t stopped to think about, what we are all accepting as the offical route….and who created or decided that was the route.

    well, except for what I have read in the paper, and what kati has said, that is really what I figured….

    I guess that may be why I hadn’t thought about it…hmmm. now I am just confusing myself.

  139. JoCo (300) Ha – I thought it was because you thought you might be an inch or two off! 🙂

    SAR Trackers, especially following footprints in the snow are pretty darned good – I can’t imagine James trail being any different than what we’ve been looking at.

  140. Mapper – I don’t think that their official route is the only one that needs signage anyway. In my years involved, this is only the second time I have ever known of a call on that particular spur road. I think that we owe it to the other people too, who get lost up there on other routes. I think that we need to sign the hell out of the ENTIRE area!!!!!!! (I am still personally curious as you though)

  141. 303 – If you watch the CNN hour long special, it showed the reporter and John James with Sgt. Joel Heller picking up a baby toy and pieces of clothing along that road to the top of the drainage…

  142. 304….joco that is part of why I havn’t focused on it either, its my understanding the whole area needs better signs and maps too, and I truly understand jurisdicational issues, and how a person can easily get lost in an area like that if all they have is a state issued highway map.

  143. Signage – I still am pondering how one could create a warning signed that worked, especially given our immunity to warnings these days (post 251). It seems some sort of a flashing warning that actually partially cover the road at the orignal points of entry; with room to manuever around for winter sports and VERY DIRECT language is necessary.

    We actually have a section of a state highway that has arms that can be lowered (like an old train crossing) when officials feel there is avalanche danger. I believe the State Transportation Department is responsible. I’m not aware of the USFS or BLM taking responsibility in National Forests, other than what you already have.

    Perhaps a community outcry, and a high-profile case like this can be the catalyst for change.

  144. D- are you lurking around here??? Since your so close are you going to tour the Merlin Galice area and mouth of BC road??? Just courious

  145. I’m brainstorming here – help me out. It seems one of the biggest obstacles will be funding the signs. There are some local and state agencies that are likely interested in supporting these signs. Commerce, Tourism, naturally County SAR’s; and what/who else? The USFS / BLM have responsibility – however they also have millions of miles of roads on federal land. They would have issues such as what can be done on Bear Camp and what would be setting precident and required everywhere (which is of course a good idea; however they would have to think of total costs nationally). So, where would grant money be available to pay for signs? And grant money would likely require at least a 50 percent matching – Could we come together and present a proposal? A proposal to cover the costs of the signs with an agreement that USFS / BLM or some other government entity maintain etc.??

    What do you think – worth pursuing?

    JoCo / RRR – how many points of origin into these roads are there in Josephine County? Naturally the Coast side would be important – Curry County?

    What do you think?

  146. 312- I couldn’t even begin to count the points of origins on these roads, there are at least 6-7 “offical” entries HOWEVER if you have looked at the map and saw the spegetti roads those roads sometimes tie to the main road and so on and so on…..

  147. JoCoSAR you didn’t send me anything yet to post, right? do you remember if the article you were looking for about BCR from the Courier or a national paper? Earlier people were linking to Google images of some of the signs up there – I think most are online by now and some commenters here had taken their own pix of some of the signs.

  148. Back with dinner in front of my keyboard.

    305 – JoCo, the CNN thing was a little odd to me because of the very fact that those items were still sitting there. Had they not been moved yet, or did they put them back? Kind of like with that broken lock that was supposedly sitting there. Much that I see in the media (in general) comes across as being very contrived. Anyway, I understand the items were there, just kind of weird how the media presents things is all.

    I wonder where Gayle has been lately. Anyway, I know I say it every single time the sign issue comes up ever since Gayle mentioned it, but her idea really was unique and a little more thought provoking something to the effect of “rain here/snow up there.” Now granted, there would need to be other signs of other types, but that one takes away some of the genericness of seeing snow signs in August and year-round.

  149. Im curious about the whole he walked in the way they came. They’d been driving forever, would he have walked back down that same route that he’d just driven knowing there wasnt anything back there for miles?

  150. JOE – the link to page three above takes you to the home page – is that your intention?

    dkf747 (315) – It’s a great idea, though I suspect there would be a few issues that would make it impractical such as availability of power source, and cost prohibitive for the electronic messages. While it would definitely get peoples attention, if there are 6-7 official entries just in Josephine County to the forest then you are really talking about quite a lot cost. I hate to be a naysayer and discourage an idea – I just think we need to have it cost effective and easy to maintain. This would be especially important if you consider the possibility of this being a beta for other forest areas that tend to attract tourists.

  151. 318-319/Tara: I think his walk makes more sense in the context of him and Kati thinking they were close to Galice. JoCo/RRR, did he not cross over 2 or 3 other drainages before heading down Big Windy? You would almost have a sense of where above Galice he thought he was, but I think the theory put forth on one of the previous pages that he thought he was heading down Galice Creek towards Galice makes a great deal of sense.

    Another question I have had – from his route on the road where he walked, would he have had a visual of the Rogue down below at some point ?? That would make the theory even more compelling.

  152. (318) Now Tara, that is one question that I had kind of wondered. It sounds like it is typical for someone to leave the same way they went in, but I suppose it would be possible NOT to do so. Again since this was kind of tied into the alternate route I drew, I still don’t think that’s likely, but I do think that this is a good question to at least consider – would James necessarily have walked out the way they drove in? I wondered, too, again just with the darkness and fatigue if they were certain which way they’d come to that spot anyway. I know that sounds kind of weird, but that kind of thing has happened to me (but my sense of direction can be pretty bad, and half the time I come out of the store with no idea where I parked) – probably not, but it occurred to me.

  153. 323 – Even with perhaps other tire tracks there, I think James would be able to ascertain which were his and know which way he came in.

  154. 324 – I think so too, Paul. Most likely. But wasn’t it raining when they stopped there? Was there already snow on the ground at that point where they stopped (obviously it dumped on them overnight) – I can’t recall what I’ve read on that.

  155. 325 – details, details…I believe you are right and my theory unsound…I do believe they stopped after they were down out of the snow. There are so many details you start forgeting some after a while – good catch.

  156. RRR/JoCo – what do you 2 think of the Galice Cr theory (I’m not taking credit by the way, someone else came up with that, just reintroducing it – but when it came up before we did not someone around who could address the visual on the Rogue from his walking route on the road)

  157. 326 – I know, definitely hard to keep up and remember! I wasn’t even positive that it was correct anymore after reading so darn much. Anyway, I do agree with you that it would be unlikely that James wouldn’t have remembered. I think he probably did go as JoCo said and then walked back that same way, but it does get the mind thinking…

  158. JoCoSAR and RRR (317) OK. If the article turns up just email me and I’ll get it posted later tonight, or note if you find it online you can link or cut and paste short articles into the comments – be sure to credit the article’s author when you do that.

  159. Hey everyone…I am sort of here…lurking tonight and tomorrow night. Have a lot to get done over here.

    Keep up the great conversation…this is really amazing.

    Biting my tonque because I want to jump in!

    Nice to see Ellen and Angela jumping in…

    Hey JoCoSAR – What are you chicken? 🙂


  160. Speaking of topography…

    there is a stunning photograph of the Rogue River related to the Kim search in the sf chronicle’s year in photos. I can’t link to it, but if you’re interested it is at, click on the “year in photos” link in the right column, then click on December, then flip through a few photos of cute kids and animals, and you’ll finally get to it.

  161. [292] ….JoCoSAR… if you’re able and so inclined would you describe in more detail the ‘command post’, it’s function, person in charge, possible duplication of function? was it the command post for the entire search operation or just a field satellite center? Was incoming information routinely verified to whatever extent practicable? On the Friday were the search helicopters directed from this post?

    if you don’t or cannot answer any or all of these questions, that is of course understandable.

  162. 311)RRR – Lurking… would like to figure out how to get out there and do what you said… tour it… when do you think I should do it? 🙂

  163. 335 – It’s been dry for several days, you could do it now (well tomorrow)…it’s just a stones throw from Medford. Aren’t you in Medford ?

  164. 312-
    as far as funding. well, “you are here” maps seems a minimal expense to me — with the exception of actually building the signs, which, maybe I am optimisitc but it would be a great community service project (like, a punishment kind of thing for petty crimes, yout offenders, etc — or maybe just some nice people who like woodworking).

    USFS already does mapping, printing the you are here maps and placing a dot on them….not expensive.

    I understand it would set a precedent, and maybe I have been to more national parks than national forests….but I know I have seen them in national parks and even state parks.

  165. 336) Yeah Paul, hi there. I know I could find Merlin and Galice and beginning of road, just wondering what RRR/JOCO are up to and if they might want to meet me somewhere… my relatives are going to late church service tomorrow and I won’t be joining them…

  166. 312

    when you suggest grant writing. I think this is a great idea too. But who are you suggesting the grant goes to? USFS? JoCo? I wasn’t sure which agency you think should apply for grant money.

  167. 338 – Mapper, I’d even spring for the dots! It really can’t be too expensive to do that. As others have said about these things, certainly cheaper than a SAR operation.

    337 – Paul, that was funny1 I hope they will be back. I’m interested in hearing more about the Galice Creek theory you mentioned and the command post questions Kip asked.

  168. 340 – JoCo knows for sure, but I think a good chunk of those roads up there are BLM.
    339 – They were here just a short while ago…hope Big Brother didn’t drop in on them.

  169. I don’t like the smell of this one bit !!! Smells like someone trying to keep the truth from falling into the publics hands. Maybe President Fords death has me thinking too much of Watergate.

  170. well….just on a side note

    I had a feeling I might be going out the wrong door at borders when I saw someone I didn’t want to see and made a break for it….but the fire alarm really caught my attention! It certaily wasn’t very well marked that it was an emergency exit….but the noise caught my attention.

    maybe the signs need to shreik along with the flashing lights.

    and yes, that was pretty embarassing.

  171. Hey you silently lurking beaurocrats !!!…just so you know, the truth will find its way out. As RRR said, why should anyone fear the truth ?

    We’re being watched, folks.

  172. (351) Hehehehe, sorry, but that is funny. Better signs needed. Maybe even a map saying not to go there. 🙂 I hate it when I do stuff like that.

  173. well, I imagine they are not supposed to talk during an investigation no matter if they are right or wrong….hopefully they dont get in trouble for it

  174. 353….it was a life-moment. I really wanted out of there and then I set the fire alarm off. no better way to bring attention to yourself!

  175. Let me just say that what Kati has told me suggests that she and James had no idea of the risk they were taking going that route, so I strongly doubt there was any cowboyish decision making or disregard for signs they may have seen on that road. Neither of them would ever knowingly place their children in jeopardy.

    She and I also watched the hour long CNN special together and she commented often, but I can’t speak on specifics she should communicate herself. Plus, I don’t want to get anything wrong. Hey, folks, a Dad has to stay out of trouble too.

    MD’s such as myself probably appreciate case analysis as well as any other class of professional. We deal with life and death issues most every day and a good bit of our time is devoted to morbidity/mortality review. Good docs are very self critical and second guess themselves on bad outcomes even when they have followed standards of care and done nothing wrong. Having laid that foundation it seems to me that JoCoSar is to be commended for her devotion to her profession and this case in particular.

    We talked with Kati via phone tonight. She is doing well and I think truly getting some extended rest for the first time since the ordeal began. I do get sad when my mind drifts back to James and what he went through, so it is very uplifting hearing from the girls. That incredible little Penelope wanted Kati to be sure to tell us tonight that they have a hot water heater where they are staying.

    Sandy and I are headed in the morning to Santa Fe for a few days. There I have no internet service unless I go to a cyber-cafe so I may not have much opportunity to check-in with this group.

  176. Angela, thanks for commenting on my idea. Electric source was one reason I suggested putting them in Galice and Agness. I’m not sure there would need to be more than 2 signs. From maps and what I have learned here, it does not seem that there are many ways to get there. Also, it is needed for those who end up needing SAR. It’s an idea to reduce the need for SAR. It’s true funds are needed, but it seems like it wopuld a loit cheaper than SAR.

  177. (356) Thank your for your comments and continued participation. It really adds perspective and truly focuses in on the human element with all of this.

    Glad to hear Kati and kids are coping. Just amazing.

    Really appreciate your participation – it means a lot to many of us.

    Please travel safely.

  178. Thanks for checking in again Kati’s dad, and for your insights on the big picture. Great to hear that your grandkids and Kati are well – kids can handle a lot though it’s hard to imagine going through more than they had to just a few weeks ago.

  179. Kati’s Dad, it is always such a treat when you are able to drop by. I’m very glad to hear that Kati and the girls are doing well. I read something that Kati wrote saying that Penelope said it was the “best Christmas ever.” To me that means that Kati and all of you are doing one heck of a great job in dealing with all of this. Wow, such an incredible daughter. I know you are very proud of her. If you do get a chance to check in, you know right where to find all of us. Be well.

  180. Kati’s dad.

    Thanks for checking in with us. I’m glad to hear Kati and the girls are doing well.

    It’s interesting what you say about being an MD and dealing with life and death situations. It is commendable how JoCoSAR has been very humble here and taken suggestions from us.

    I also feel the same way when I put my name on a map, and know that it will be for public comsumption. I know people believe what they are reading and do not always second guess what has been published. At least we map makers can use disclaimers, I bet it its much harder for MD’s and SAR to remove themselves from such liability, even when they have followed protocol.

    I hope you all get some rest and are now eating well again. It has always been my belief that Kati and James did not know the risk they were taking, and it doesnt suprise me one bit to hear you say that, even though you cant comment on specifics.


  181. DH, have you lived anywhere besides oregon? just curious, because you have an intimate knowledge of the area that I think may make it hard for you to see how people from other areas might interpret maps and signs there.

  182. Tacoma Washington 10 yrs., and I survived 10 yrs of driving in San Antonio. Of course a father would say that, good for him. Really, I could have held back, not said anything at this time. And eventually, that’s what this whole forum could turn into. Holding back.

  183. DH, of course. It was terribly risky as well proven by the bad outcome. But, I think you miss my point, they did not know in advance what risk they were taking.

    It’s so easy to second guess and criticize in armchair retrospect.

  184. 370) Kati’s Dad, sure, sorry to offend you. And I would feel the same as you about my daughter’s experience, since she is also 30 yrs. old. But really, I truly still, cannot understand what they could have been thinking. And the outcome saddened me greatly.

  185. (356)

    Whether people want to believe James as a hero or not…I think some things need to be said.

    First of all it took a lot of courage to attempt what James did especially after so many days in their condition. To venture out like that took a lot of bravery. PERIOD.

    What was the reason James did it? To save his family! He didn’t put himself first…not at any point. He made sure the kids had whatever food was available, etc. He sacrificed every step of the way. There are a lot of people in this world that would not have chosen this path – they would have sacrificed others to save their own skin.

    James is what every father would hope they have to courage to be. He is a symbol what a parent is expected to do if your family is in danger. Whether his decisions were right or wrong is irrelevant – bottom line he did something and he did it without regard to his personal safety – this is NOT an example of foolishness or recklessness – it is an example of absolute love and determination to save his family.

    I remember when my first daughter was born…literally at that instant I knew I would take a bullet for her…without even a second thought – that is true love. It is an amazing feeling.

    I think that is why so many people feel compelled to do something. We cannot let James’s sacrifice stop here…there needs to be a legacy for many years to come. Every human life is sacred and to lose it in your prime (whatever the reason) is a shame. Our blue marble lost an incredible person and three families lost an incredible father, husband, son, and son-in-law.

    We cannot let this end here. We need to work together to create a lasting legacy not only for James’s children but to help people in the future that get lost.

    Make no mistake – James died a very horrible death. We cannot forget that. Just try to imagine his frustration, desperation, hope, faith everything that goes into something like this. We cannot let that fade – that level of emotion we should tap into to make something positive out of this.

    Kati’s dad, James gave your family an amazing gift. You got three very special presents this Christmas because of his sacrifice. Let’s not forget his footprints ultimately led to the families rescue – so he did accomplish his goal – he saved his family! It isn’t often you are presented with another chance at life – I am sure both families will and do realize this and cherish every second Kati and the children are here. Remember part of James is in each of those children.

    I have been thinking a lot about this situation and to me all parents should honor James memory and hope we all have the strength he had to save our families if needed. I truly hope that we are able to do something significant and meaningful out of this.

    Out of this we also need a strong effort to increase funding for SAR efforts throughout this country. We need to do everything we can to save a life in need regardless of how they go there.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

  186. PS – I don’t think Pac would ever have the courage that James had and I think that is why he acts the way he does.

    PSS – Lisa did I just beat your longest post? 🙂

  187. I can’t defend their decisions anymore than saying I think they were made in relative haste, innocence, and ignorance. Kati has to expect plenty of ongoing, perhaps lifelong criticism.

    The first criticism I heard was something similar from one of my own brothers.

  188. (372) Glenn, tears rolling down my cheeks and mouthing the words “yes, yes, yes” all the way through. Thank you for how you said all that.

  189. (374) Sad isn’t it. Kati, James and the children exhibited great courage and fortitude during their ordeal. Kati did so many things right during their time lost to protect and safeguard those children. She deserves no criticism.

    Time will change all that.

  190. BTW…I have now added Kati to my list of heros. She is a hero to. During the ordeal and after. Her posts on Yelp speak volumes about herself, James and her kids and exactly how much love exists in their family.

  191. Perhaps this will add a touch of Fatherly perspective.

    Driving from San Francisco to LA with Kati in the front passenger seat a few days ago, I asked her to check the map for me. She said no and added some additional commentary related to their tragic event.

    I had to pass the map back to Sandy to get the direction I needed.

    I was most hesitant to even make that driving trip knowing the risk I was taking with cargo most precious to me.

  192. Kati’s dad – I think one of the captivating parts of all this was the fact that many of us thought we could have been in that situation and made the same decision to try to head over via what appeared to be a shortcut. A combination of unlikely things (bad weather, wrong turns, bad signage, etc) combined to make it a tragic decision, but I hope Kati recognizes that criticism in a case like this is often more a reflection on the person talking than the person they are talking about.

  193. Glenn, before this ordeal I didn’t know anything about her posts on Yelp. I ran across them on a Google search. Wow, my pride in her leaped on up into orbital levels.

  194. (381) Dr. Fleming your family is blessed in many ways. As I continue to read more and understand it is startling. You have every reason to be so proud of your daughter.

  195. 372 – Glenn you are blessed with a way with words. ::wipes away tear::

    378 – Dr Fleming, how sad. We will keep Kati in our prayers. Hopefully in time, she will heal.

  196. 372 – I think you summed up, most eloquently, how every dad feels about James trek and his effort to save his family. Every father relates to how he must have felt stumbling down that canyon…”must get help, must keep going, have to…have to….they are counting on me…” That element, above all others, pulls so hard on me.

  197. Thanks…I wasn’t meaning to get people crying. Although it is very emotional it is so important to make something out of this. The nay sayers can say what they want (hmmm…interesting phrase) but this is important.

    Guess that is why I have gotten so annoyed with the Pac’s of the world…they have opinions but they do not have a clue about what is right and what is just WRONG.

    I have seen so much in life and quite frankly even more in death…perspective is absolutely everything – without it, you can’t possibly make the right decision all the time.

  198. Dee you can email me at glennforum at yahoo and I will forward it to Paul if you want…

    I think I should start an email proxy service… 🙂

  199. Glen, Once again, you have spoken eloqently.
    I have never felt they were being reckless or negligent.
    They were a family on vacation. They weren’t skilled mountain trackers or anything like that. Regardless of how good or bad the signage was, signs CAN be missed unless there are large blinking lights. When my mom & I used to travel together when my son was little, between our yapping and seeing to the little one, we OFTEN missed signs & turns we’d taken literally a hundred times before, on routes we could travel blind. Yes, from what I’ve read, the signage is a weak spot and definitely needs to be taken care of.
    What I think should be noted here is that Katie & James did many many things right after finding themselves in a bad situtation. They kept themselves and their babies alive for many days on very, very limited resources in very bad, cold weather. James traveled a great distance in bad conditions, poor physical, mental, and emotional state. Katies kept those two babies well and safe for days on her own. The signage problem was addressed many pages ago, in depth. I know there are new people here & take that into consideration.
    JoCo & RRR being banned from posting – smelling of circling the wagons or protecting the integerity of the investigation – yet to be determined. I do think they are trying to get the truth out.
    Who I would not like to see Katie turn to for interviews:
    Barbara Walters, Rita Cosby, Nancy Grace. Jessica, what’s her name, who got hurt in Iraq, her family did some interviews with Rita and then they told her they didn’t want to do anymore, but she wouldn’t leave them alone, even though they tried nicely to get rid of her and then ignore her. They finally had to either call the police to keep her from sitting outside their house or had to actually call the police to get rid of her, I don’t remember which.
    Katie’s dad, whoever & however, if Katie ever chooses to talk, it’s her choice & will be respected. I’m sure that katie being married to James has some idea of how media works. Tell katie I think she did an amazing job.

  200. (390) Golden rule…try not to judge someone for their mistake. If you need to judge…then judge them on their actions after their mistake.

  201. Correction, yipes I do a lot of that – limited time & have to type fast usually – had to threaten to or acutally call the police to get rid of Rita.

  202. I think the smartest thing Kati is doing right now is staying away from the media. She has 2 far more pressing concerns. I grew up in a media environment – there is a mercenary quality to news coverage that sickens me, and it is worse today than it was when I was growing up.

  203. Um, that little contact form is cool to use, it just goes to me, and me alone. however, I just sent you an email thru Glenn, soo….. hold on you should have my email…………now!

  204. 372, Glenn, Wow, That was amazing and so true. What I see here is a lot of very compasionat people that truly care about other people. We all have to remember the Lord is always in control. God Bless everybody and good night. Bob

  205. Wow, I get phone calls at the worst times!

    You simply can’t judge people by their mistakes. What Kati’s dad says is true. Kati will face life long criticism by hard-headed people who never learned the golden rule. She needs to know, deep down, that those people will pay for their mistakes one day to, and they will also learn what it is like to be judged.

    It doesn’t surprise me she didn’t want to read the map. She probably doesn’t even want to be in the car! She has paid such a price and everyone that can sit and judge her…well frankly it just makes me sick. What comes around goes around.

    I know my own parents would not be as understanding as Kati’s dad, because at least one of my parents, that is just the way they are, always critical, always unhappy. Reading these comments is theraputic to me too, shows me what I have always sort of known but couldn’t be sure…most people are not like pac. Most people can relate to being human. I pray that Kati’s dad will remain understanding because she has paid enough for an innocent mistake. This truly could have happened to anyone.

    And to the pac’s of the world….maybe they won’t get stuck on the highway…but are we to believe they are perfect? That they are shining examples of a human, that they never make mistakes?

    No one makes it through life without making some serious mistakes, and if those naysayers havn’t yet, they will, count on it, and the fall will be hard.

    Kati is so young, she will make it through this, and she will never have the terrible fate of being one of the “pac’s” of the world.

  206. ps

    just another thing. people who are so quick to judge. Stop and think a minute. You have a woman here who is probably the first to realize she made a mistake. The last thing she needs is some stranger(s) rubbing it in.

    She needs time to grieve, and I bet sometimes she wishes she could trade places with James.

    Please be respectful.

  207. Others have already said it better than I can, but I feel compelled to say this. I could never blame or criticize James or Kati for this tragic ordeal when it’s something so understandable to most of us how easy it is to wind up in such a horrible predicament. Most of us get lucky most of the time and don’t have to pay such an unfair price for simple mistakes. Honestly, even when I think about it, I can hardly even imagine being that cold and that hungry that terrifyingly long, let alone knowing that my young children were enduring the same – and yet anything I have heard about how James and Kati dealt with it makes me only hope that I’d have as much courage as they each had. What James did to try to save his family is nothing short of heroic to me. I can easily understand why he felt he had to leave for help after that many days without the appearance of imminent help but a clearly more desperate situation than it had been on the first day or the third day or the fifth day. What choice does a loving husband and father have at that point if it appears no one will come to save his family? Superhuman is the other word we’ve heard that sounds pretty accurate to me as maps and pictures of the unforgiving terrain have been shown along with the description of how incredibly far he went, surely thinking of nothing but saving all 3 of his girls. And in the end, we hear that it was his footsteps from the car that finally led help to the car, even if it cost him his own life. How Kati was able to continue to keep her wits about her and keep her girls alive once alone in the car without her husband is beyond me. The closest I can imagine it would feel would be nothing short of absolutely terrifying. But somehow she did it. And she will continue to do it. And from what I can tell already from glimpses on Yelp and comments from Kati’s (wonderfully supportive) Dad, with more grace and courage than most people can muster. While I believe that many people could get into such a dire situation, I also believe that few could act more bravely during and after. So I’d have to agree that they are both heroes in my book. To criticize too harshly the easy mistakes most people make (but luckily pay no price) is to completely miss the point of what may instead be seen as a tribute to hope, grace, courage, bravery and love.

  208. Personal issues.

    Let me say that although my posts have tried to focus on SAR issues, I am not unaware of the fact that had I been in such a situation my performance would not have been as good. I know I would not and could not have gone so long without food and I absolutely know without a doubt that I could not have traversed even half the distance he did. Even if I had ski boots on to keep my feet relatively dry I know without a doubt I would not have had the physical or mental resources to make it anywhere near that far. I have had a few lapses in judgment when travelling but the consequences have been limited to ‘inconvenience’ and did not at all approach ‘ordeal’. I was lucky in that respect. And it was indeed luck. We speak here of preparedness and survival skills but often forget that luck plays a role too. I have the luxury of sitting here and imagining myself reading signs carefully and heeding them instantly, but I know I’ve missed signs or failed to heed warnings or chosen to press onward anyway. So have others. Many of them. I do wonder what sort of ill luck ever took him off the roadway and into the drainage area. Did he see a distant stream and think that slogging through the rugged terrain to the stream would speed his family’s rescue. By this time, keeping his feet dry may not have been much of a concern to him. I’m not sure if setting out on foot was proper or not though I don’t dispute that it was courageious. I do wonder if they had any other fire-starting ability? In the movies dry tinder is always available and rubbing two sticks together gets a fire going but in real life things can be different!

  209. I agree with Dr. Fleming.

    Ive said it before. I am not stupid and I am very educated. I have worked years ago with SAR, I climbed many a 14er, spent 31 consecutive days blazing and building part of the continental divide trail. All camping, for 31 days. I am not reckless or foolish. I try to weigh and measure my decisions. I am accused of “spending too much time inside my head thinking about things”.
    And I have been in grants pass trying to decide which road takes us to gold beach. We wouldve taken BC if I hadnt wanted to see the redwoods.
    We arent danger seekers, thrill seekers, reckless, stupid, or have get-there-itits.
    We simply are at the mercy of a map. WE HAD NO IDEA it wouldve been a hard trek.
    It looked LIKE A ROAD TO US.
    I firmly believe James and Kati believed so also.

    And glenn. I understand the give your life for your kids thought.
    I would take on Hell with a water pistol for mine.

    When I think about how we all say that, and James did it… it makes him a hero to me. period.

  210. Kati’s Dad – Everyone else has expressed so eloquently what I would have wanted to say to you. We are so grateful for your participation here, and hopefully it has given you an understanding of why we are gathered to talk about your family’s terrible ordeal. Our goal is geared toward prevention and better tools for response to such a situation. Others, like those who gawk at all accidents and badmouth the drivers, will never get past that James and Kati ended up on the road, and will be smug and superior in saying they never would have let that happen.

    This could have happened to anyone, including the folks who swear they never would have taken that road. Maybe it wouldn’t happen to them in OR, if they know the roads, but in Wyoming or Montana or somewhere else where an innocuous looking road on a map may be unforgiving terrain. Or they could take a wrong exit in an urban area and end up in the middle of something they didn’t expect.

    Hopefully we can keep it simple while dissecting this situation, and come up with some straightforward and practical answers. Please be assured that we are looking for horses, not zebras.

  211. Madeleine: 11:45am. I’m still lurking, also wondering where everyone is. I guess they’re just busy. I’m sorry about my mistimed comment last night, it was calloused, and does not represent my overall attitude. I moved on to constructive pursuits to support SAR a few days ago. Occasionally, my curiosity slips, this time at exactly the wrong time.

    This afternoon I am playing miniature golf with my family at the Rogue Valley Mall (Medford), glow in the dark miniature golf, which is exactly what I should be doing this afternoon.

  212. 403-405: If the goal is to prevent a reoccurence, though, isn’t it important to determine why they did keep going? (Assuming the road isn’t just gated and locked in winter) Was it inadequate signage?…or misleading maps?…a combination?…or was it something else we haven’t even latched onto yet? Just because I ask those questions does not mean I am judging their decision, and I fear that in not asking those questions we could fall prey to the “holding back” issue that D.H. warned of last night.

  213. Those are fair questions Paul but unless they interview Kati as part of the process I doubt we’ll know this until she recounts the ordeal on her own.

    I hope Kati’s starting to write to herself about all of this because memories, even bad ones, fade fast and the amount of interest in their decision making, survival, and rescue is simply astounding.

    I think I may create a separate page on which people can only ask specific questions and post very specific answers to other questions. No speculation or theories will be allowed there, just questions and answers.

  214. Paul, I understand what you are saying. I do think it is important to try to understand why so that hopefully this can be prevented, and from the best many of us can tell it sounds like they truly just did not know what they were getting into until it was way too late, so I think that is what can be and needs to be changed – an earlier warning of more clearly just what someone is getting into if they head down this path – through things like better signs in better places, better maps, perhaps some kind of gate system that locals can still access but other folks wouldn’t and lots of other ideas we’ve all been discussing. So it is an important question to ask why so that others can be prevented from finding themselves in the same danger, but I just think that assuming they knew they were taking such a huge risk and carelessly taking it anyway just doesn’t sound right to me – maybe for some reckless young thrill-seeker, but not for a young family like this.

  215. 409 – Agree, and also feel that is totally up to her when, or even if, she ever does.

    RE: The Q. & A. page – I am hopeful JoCo & RRR can rejoin us after the 5th or so. They have so much specific knowledge for the kind of page you propose. I was really curious if James could get a visual on the Rogue from anywhere on his trek on the road. It’s such an intriguing element to the theory that he thought he was on Galice Creek, which IMO makes so much more sense than that he just randomly dropped down Big Windy.

  216. 410 – Hard questions are important, but there is a fine line between hard questions and cruel badgering. I’ve tried to raise hard questions while remaining sensitive to the situation.

  217. 413 – Speaking of presentation, I need to expand my emoticon repretoire…Joe gave us a link, but in all these pages I’m not sure where…anyone remember?
    405 -D.H. – if you like glow in the dark mini-golf, you should try lighted Bocce sometime, an easy game for kids and fun for adults too.
    Happy New Year’s Eve all!

  218. 4:41pm EST- I agree questions need to be asked to find out what correctable problems led them into their predictament to prevent others from making the same HONEST HUMAN mistakes,especially as there seems to have been a problem with this particular area for some years. And there are answers we’ll never know unless Katie decides to answer them. And there needs to be hard questions asked about the SAR efforts as this is the job they are supposed to do to improve their work. But I also agree that there is a fine line between asking questions and badgering and blaming the Kims for their honest mistakes. I do hold SAR to a higher standard becaue they are supposed to be trained and first responders to incidents like this. Even with JoCo’s imput, I’m still not satisfied that there weren’t serious mistakes made which should’ve never happened with a trained SAR. It still bothers me that two separate individuals who were not involved in the official operation, each working on their own without input from each other, BOTH focused in on the same location when SAR couldn’t.

  219. Locked gates are a (how do I say it gently?) repulsive option imo, certainly a last resort consideration. We’re grownups, not kiddies in a playpen. Why not just have good signage? The NF 23 / BLM 34-8-36 junction is visually confusing. Many people with 1st hand knowledge have stated this. I’ve seen pics of it, and noticed the pathetic little sign saying “to the coast” or something like that. It was probably stuck there in afterthought by some frustrated but concerned, caring motorist who mistakenly took the wrong road.

    I owned a Saab once, great little machine. Tough, its front wheel drive traction seemed to want to pull me any way/place I wanted to steer. They’re built considering snowy conditions and used to advertised that way.

    If you don’t stray off the road what can really go wrong? Worst case scenario: get stuck by deepening snow, or blocked by a snow drift, or by a rock or snow slide. Even then there seems a reasonable chance you could just turn around and back track. If the going gets too tough, just park the car & try again in the morning or wait for help. Sooner or later somebody will be along. Of course if unknowingly lost far off on a dead-end road like the Kims, all such rationalizing makes little sense. But if the signs had been clearly readable, and understandable at the confusing junctions on the “road to the coast” I think James would be alive today.

  220. Paul, of course it’s part of the solution to find out what caused someboy to keep going, but the problem is that many people just accuse the Kims of horribly bad judgment rather than looking at the elements of why they thought it was OK to keep going.

    We’ve established that they were certainly caring, responsible parents who would not do anything knowingly to put their children in harm’s way, so the question to me is why it appeared safe to continue, based on the info they had. Adding in the human factor to the bad maps, lack of clear signage, etc. created the situation.

    Sometimes people just get bad vibes about turning back, or they perceive that going forward will get them into a better or safer location. And then it’s too late to do either.

  221. Here are a couple of things focusing back on the SAR angle of things. The first is a link to a story you all probably saw, regarding the SAR effort in this and other cases.

    The second is very interesting, all of the SAR records for OR. I haven’t had time to go through all the stats as yet, but somebody else who did told me that the majority of lost folks were from OR, not out of state.

    The 2005 stats for all counties are extremely interesting, and give a good picture of what SAR teams are up against. This is good background for us to know as we approach finding solutions:

  222. 416 – 418 – I need to go back and look at the weather history, but this has been a winter of unusually strong storms, many of them with fairly abrupt onsets (consider the horrific winds that played a role in taking the lives of the Mt Hood climbers). I could easily see a situation where the snow level came down fast as precipitation intensified and they were already too high in elevation and whiteout conditions ensued. Without chains, and with a road with sharp drop-offs lacking guardrails in many places, James would retreat cautiously to avoid going off the road. That still leaves me puzzled as to why they would leave the route they came in on and go down the BLM fork versus just continuing to back down Bear Camp.

  223. 418 – yes I agree

    Paul, you seem like a nice guy (and occasionally quite funny). But I dont think most of us are “holding back” I think we know that Kati’s very specific answers are going to be very close to our very specific ideas about what went wrong. And if not, it sure doesn’t hurt to realize the maps and signs are not good enough. JoCo has said this, and I sure do trust her on that.

    I know the map is not good enough, period. I still think this may be why James ripped it up and left pieces of it. “useless”

    If there was another reason the Kim’s got on that road…I’m sure we will all find out someday, Kati will open up one day and say why. And I know that you know its inappropriate to try to further that process along.

    I absolutltey do believe its callous to say such things to Katis dad about “how could they do something so foolish” or etc or even “why did they do that?” and no matter how you say it, with a smile or a laugh, its still inappropriate.

    It’s not holding back…its just that to most of us it is pretty darn obvious what could have went wrong. You have a whole lot of people that have gotten lost up there. Kati’s answers are not going to be a big deal, frankly.

    DH I respect your apology.

    But even if we wait a few hours to speak do you not think people will scroll through a few hours later?

    Simply, asking hard questions of hurting family members will get you nowhere, no matter how you prhase it, it is inappropriate. And I’m with Maggie, Dr. Fleming has already said what we need to know, they made a decision in relative haste, innocence and ignorance.

    I think were all very intelligent people here who ask the right questions, and have the right motivations. Were not just a bunch of over-emotional fruitcakes….we are not afraid of asking questions or holding back. There are just some things that seem quite elementary or unnecessary…or simply can wait.

    Happy New Years All.

  224. 405 – DH – I missed your “comment” that you referred to last night, but have made a few of those, myself. It’s hard sometimes to word things just right. We take into account the people we know to be here, people who may lurking just to follow along, and people who may be lurking with unsavory motives. Not to mention people who have been gagged and can’t respond, though they really, really want to. Meantime, I don’t think any of us want to make a visitor uncomfortable, if this hits close to home. So we’re kind of tiptoeing a bit (until Pac shows up, that is, at which point all bets are off).

  225. Paul, not knowing the area, this may appear a silly question, so if it is, I’ll stand corrected.
    Is there any way they could’ve thought they WERE going back down the way they came, Bear Camp, if I’m correct in that?

  226. Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Been a busy day and won’t be back until tomorrow some time.

    And Joe I am so sick of posting I am not going to post again for the rest of the year! 🙂

    Have a good and safe one everybody!

  227. Paul

    I think that is a good idea, checking the weather reports is a good way to get some more specific ideas to figure out what else could have gone wrong. I also have a hunch this was a big factor since it was raining when they started…sorta a wrong place wrong time scenario.

  228. In snowy conditions and or at at night when driving, it is so very easy to not know whether going up grade or down. I have often been surprised when backtracking a road in daylight I took the previous night to find that it goes up when I thought it should be going down and v.v.

  229. 419 – Paul, it’s just my hunch, but I am still not convinced that they ever made it past that fork where FS23 and the BLM road meet. I still think it’s entirely possible that they took that right onto FS23 believing that it was the continuation of the “correct” road since it is so much wider. In that case, it may have been one of the many spurs off of that on which they did the backing up. This is still, of course, pure speculation, but that really does seem to be a long way going the wrong way – so I don’t know if they just thought they were actually still on the “correct” road all along. Hard to say for certain. In any case, definitely leaves room for better maps/signs, etc.

  230. Madeleine

    Wow, that first article was one that I have not yet read. Its enlightening how differently things are done in different states. I already know that is the case, but this really makes it clear.

    I wonder if its any solace to Kati’s dad, that there are vast differences how things are done in New Mexico (where he is from) compared to Oregon. Its no wonder his decision to stay home might have been influenced by that.

    I also had not seen these quotes from Sheriff Daniels (except in the US Observer or on here so I hadn’t taken them seriously). His attitude speaks volumes. The fact that it has happened 34 times doesn’t seem to ring a bell with him…how many ways can you say or spell – pathetic?

    I know I have seen people address this here before but I guess I had other concerns on my mind.

    Good to know.

  231. 419 // 421: Thirty-four wintertime searches in eight years ?!? …oh, but it’s ALL the fault of those who got lost ?? I think Sheriff Daniels is the one who lacks common sense. That stat alone screams that you have a problem and to blame it all on those who got lost is to behave like an ostrich.

  232. Having posted those links above regarding SAR ops and stats, I wish JoCo and R3 were able to comment, as there are some potshots in the article. I want them to know that we will eagerly await their response after the report comes out, since they haven’t gotten to give one to date. How very frustrating that must be!!

  233. 430 – Joe, I rarely do anything in moderation when it comes to making comments, so it was a pleasure to be stuck there for awhile and see how the other half lives.

  234. Maggie (428): I agree. When I first saw a picture of the FS23-BLM intersection, I thought that the right-hand road was the correct route. Even after seeing the sign, I was still confused.

    Perhaps we can all agree that the Kims proceeded reasonably, given what they knew at the time. Although we can see now that some of this information was incorrect, the Kims didn’t know it at the time and, in their case, their decisions were entirely reasonable when they made them.

    However, Paul is right – we can’t avoid this sort of disaster in the future unless we understand what happened to the Kim family. As I have said before, we honor the memory of James Kim and give meaning to his Family’s terrible ordeal by trying to understand what they went through and by trying to prevent another tragedy. Otherwise we have learned nothing.

    Now, let’s assume that Maggie is right and that the Kims took the right-hand fork onto the BLM road thinking that the were taking Bear Creek Road to Gold Beach. Now, let’s also assume that the Kims saw the mileage sign at the FS23-BLM intersection and noted that Gold Beach was 50 miles away. After considerable driving down the “Gold Beach” road, it seems to me the Kims may have thought that they were closer to Gold Beach than to Galice. Just my speculation, but I am more attracted than Maggie is to her proposed alternate route. It seems to me that the Kims would naturally try to turn left (i.e., West) toward Gold Beach at any intersection. But we may never know.

    As others have pointed out, the Big Windy Creek drainage is so rough and inaccessible that it has never been logged. The Pacific Northwest has been growing huge trees for many centuries, and these trees grew, died, and eventually fell without interference from man. The soil beneath the forest was soon buried in fallen tree trunks, dead branches, and decaying vegetation, and new trees could only get a start by taking root on the fallebn trunks of dead and decaying trees. The result is a forest “floor” that is exceptionally difficult to navigate on foot and impossible to traverse by any other method. You might step over a log onto what feels like firm footing, only to find that you have stepped on a rotten log that starts to give way under your full weight. Your next step might be onto a centuries-old pile of branches that is deeper than anyone would want to explore. It is very hard on your legs or feet and very slow going.

    Creekbeds are even worse because they tend to be filled with tangles of dead logs that may be unstable and that may be prone to abrupt collapses or shifts. If the logjam is located at a narrow point in the canyon, there may be no easy way to get around it without risking your life.

    In short, unlogged forests in the Pacific Northwest are like a deep pile of pick up sticks, except that these sticks may kill you.

    In terms of the West, the Big Windy Creek drainage is a relatively minor geological feature. However, it drains a lot of surrounding country and would be a major geological feature East of the Rockies. It is too far South for glaciers, so its creekbed was never scoured clean and has had lots of time to carve its characteristic V-shape and to fill itself with boulders and logs. To travel very far in terrain like that requires an effort that can fairly be described as Superhuman. This word would apply both to James Kim and to the rescuers who followed him into Big Windy Creek.

    Sadly, I predict that the SAR folks will be gaining more experience at Big Windy Creek. I suspect that inexperienced people will foolishly try to follow James Kim’s route and may actually try to recover the emergency packages that were dropped. However, neither repeated traffic nor anything short of major trail building will make this drainage accessible without major risk to life.

  235. 435 / I, too, am intrigued by the theory they never got on BC at all but immediately went right at the fork, but I’m fuzzy on how to reconcile that with Kati’s account that the backed up a considerable distance.
    Unless I misread, the emergency packets were never dropped due to fog, so there is nothing to find beyond the mysterious 2 lighters.
    The Rogue River Canyou is a designated wilderness river and part of the scenic rivers act and I am relatively certain a major trail on Big Windy will never happen. Unfortunately, that will be unlikely to preclude some folks from getting stuck in there this Spring or Summer when they try to retrace James path.

  236. 435 – Excellent points, sounds like you are quite familiar with geography/foretry. The more I hear about the terrain James travelled over the more amazed I am at his fortitude and strength. Love of family will create that sort of adrenaline surge that allows for exceptional feats (moms lifting cars off their kids, etc.), but in the end, the body spends the energy and eventually gives out. The chances of him doing what he did were indeed small; he was a highly motivated man.

  237. 441 – When I first saw this layoutscene depiction, I was under the impression that it was based on the erroneous coordinates given initially. I wonder if that was true, and if so, if this is an updated version. I’ll have to go look at the old link I had when I first saw this. Isn’t it interesting to see how the area looks from this perspective? And it looks like the road would have taken him to the lodge.

  238. Madeleine, some of those on layoutscene are the correct and some of them are the incorrect car positions – each page describes which are which. From where the correct car position is and how it sounds like James walked from the car, he still would have passed that spot where the car was originally reported to have been – and just down from there, was the Black Bar Lodge that he didn’t know was there. If you haven’t taken a look at the ones posted on Google Earth (links on previous page), it’s really interesting to be able to follow the roads and even spin or tilt for different perspectives.

  239. Have been popping in & out all day and just now went back & read the article from the first link in post #419. I’m appaled – at the number of people lost in that area and by Daniel’s attitude – you can not tell me that someone in authority with an attitude like that is going to put forth the proper effort he should. His job is to look out for the public’s safely, be it from their own mistakes or what. This guy is some piece of work…

  240. 445 – OK, I went to Page 1, as you suggested, which was happening when I was only here intermittently as a lurker. Arrgh, post after post of Pac’s was what I found!

    I did see where most of the links I have posted today and yesterday had been posted then, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to reiterate from time to time.

    Not sure what you wanted me to see.

  241. 449 – Madeleine, definitely doesn’t hurt to re-post links. A lot has been covered over these 5 pages of comments! Even mapper said she hadn’t seen the article while thinking of other things, and she’s been here since comment page one, too 🙂 I wasn’t sure if YosSWrn meant page one of the comments or page one of the layoutscene link?

  242. And tara, too! OK, I’ll stop contributing to a chatroom environment, just glad to see folks are here – we’ve been fairly quiet today without JoCoSAR & RRR around to answer questions.

  243. Good evening Maggie!…yes, it has been slowwww today…& JoCo and RRR are with us in “spirit” if – silenced perhaps, but hardly absent.

  244. I would definitely imagine that both are lurking and wishing they could type. The timing was kind of bad – you and Kip both had some good questions out there for them. I guess it is understandable, though. Is it the 5th yet?

  245. Brenda,

    I enjoyed reading your geological perspective on the area.

    As for wanting to know what Kati has to say about what went wrong, I am as interested as anyone else, but I think its a point that should be dropped here, as none of us has any control or say over when she will or wont speak about it. And when people try to take control of that, it just gets ugly, and I start to feel like I live in another country….I think we all want to know, but must accept that we can’t, and maybe in the future she will speak and we can use her commentary to even get better ideas than we already have. (and when I say we I really mean everyone I guess…pretty universal)

    Hi Maggie, and all! Yes its kind of funny how addicted we all are, but its New Years Eve, I suppose there are many very unconstructive things we could be doing!!!! Luckily (or not) I have so much work to do I am homebound, deadlines, deadlines….

    Oh, and Madeleine…yes I bet JoCo and RRR would have comments on the Sheriff Daniels quotes. I have some theories of my own now that I dont dare type…….and without going further into that, I guess its possible the media took Daniles quotes out of context….I guess we have to wait and see if that is the case. It sure doesn’t sound good when reading that article.

  246. 459 – Paul, all over page one of comments the idea that James may have thought he was headed down Galice Creek is mentioned by Spencer, Greg, you and others.

  247. ummm does anyone know what happened to spencer? wasn’t he the one that was gonna go up there and check things out!?!?!

    the ball just dropped in new york. Dick Clark sounds so old…and looks so young…its so strange!

    Glenn is allowed to post again.

  248. The other good thing was Spencer was local and seemed to have good knowledge about a lot of specifics….plus he seemed to kind of center things when we would swing off one direction or another….he just vanished. But it is Twilight Zone weekend…

  249. I did find where JoCoSAR did respond to the article mentioned above with Sheriff Daniels’ comments – take a look at Page Two of comments, post #1062 :

    “I cannot comment on Daniels comments. That would be no better than what the newspaper did. Perhaps if he joins this forum, you could ask him. I would imagine that he could only speak of his personal opinion, lord knows, he hasn’t asked mine!”

  250. See, time travel IS possible…yea, it’s weird mapper, sorry to break the line of thought, but couldn’t resist … back to business

  251. Gosh, it’s still very early out this way. Not even time to start thinking about it yet 🙂 Frances, yes, the time travel is working!

  252. While snooping around back on the old comments pages, I saw on page two a comment added after Joe had closed the page for comments that I hadn’t seen. Just yet another person who has run into trouble out that way but was lucky enough to live through it. Interesting.

  253. 470 – Yes, he was. Now that would be dreadful if he went out there and has gone missing. I thought he was going to go out this weekend….and no, it isn’t just you, that is a bit troubling. He’s probably lurking and will jump in any second laughing at our paranoia

  254. You know who I’d really like to hear from? Is the guy who owned Black Bar lodge – isn’t he the one who was credited with writing directions directly on the road? The fact that he, or someone, did that, went to that length, in it’s self, to me, speaks volumes that the signs are not adaquate even in good weather and the level of frustration. Yes, Spencer did have good balance.

  255. 470 – mapper, yep, sounds scary to me! I can’t remember for sure when he was going to go. I might go up there in August (in an SUV/truck borrowed and more suitable for it, with plenty of supplies). Maybe. I’d like it even better if I could just meet JoCo or RRR at Dutch Brothers and let them take me 🙂

  256. 470 – paul its strange because I was thinking of it just before you mentioned it, after reading brenda’s post about people trying to retrace james’s steps, and I remembered that line of posts between him and, well it must have been you and some others.

    Interesting, yes it would be nice if he came back to laugh! It is a holiday week where I guess most people are doing other things besides posting on web blogs!

  257. I saved this link and forgot I had it and never posted it:
    I’m from S. Oregon, and everybody I know is heartbroken & disgusted over this.
    The Kims did like everybody has to do down here, take backroads, because that’s all there is in a lot of spots. Even the “main roads” would look like backroads to the rest of the country–and dang dangerous to the wrong person. They didn’t know they were lost until it was TOO LATE. Look at the CNN video of the roads, you would be totally confused which is the correct road to take. (See link Below)
    I am not surprised that it was government negligence–we’ve seen it before so many times down here. They’ve had other people get lost and die down there, and dozens more get stranded every year. NOTHING changes, Authorities DON’t CARE. Those road signs that’ve led people to their deaths–nobody bothered to change them after that 1 guy starved over 66 days.
    My folks live down there, and what if they or I slide off the road, etc? We can’t afford private helicoptors—just the ones we already PAID taxes for. We lived adjoining BLM property in S. Oregon, and if we tended our vegetable gardens, the heat-sensing helicoptors were all over us like flies looking for pot–(it shows up a different temperature than other plants). But NOT for lost taxpayers. Or if a person didn’t stop for a cop-car, well that generates a 400% effort, 30-car police-chase with bullets flying through residential homes. Somebody shoulda told the cops that the Kims were smuggling dope or child kidnappers, that woulda got them saved in no-time.
    Don’t count on authorities down there—if someboy is lost, the citizens must do it themselves, just like in the Kim’s situation. Volunteers did most of the thinking and DOING down there.
    Somebody needs to do something about those road-signs andthat wrong road people keep taking. Dig a series of trenches across it that only local off-roaders can take.
    Video Link (
    Posted by: Trailer Queen | Dec 18, 2006 1:58:04 PM

  258. 478 – Yeah, Spence probably has a life. 🙂
    Seriously, I would feel better if he reappeared, if only to tell us were a bunch of worry worts.

  259. 473 – OK, now that’s kind of scary. I didn’t know he meant now.

    475 – Frances, I’d like to hear from him, too! JoCoSAR indicated that some things about what we read about his role is not quite the whole story, so maybe after the 5th we will hear more on that. But he is the one, I think, that mentioned the spraypainting on the road for “coast” and then “dead end.” Of course, in snow it couldn’t be seen, but I agree that the idea that was even done shows that it was not very clear.

  260. Maggie,

    that is why it occured to me, he wasn’t talking about waiting until summer. He did say he would be safe, but I dont think he was intending to wait for july.

  261. okay tara I wont ask for any specific locations, but I see we will be ringing in the new year together! I thought I was the only one here tonight in the central tz.

  262. 490 – not sure, but he was talking about it…it is probably nothing, he’s probably off at some vacation destination celebrating New Years, but I would sure feel bad if he was slid off Bear Camp somewhere.

  263. 452 – Tara, slapping self on forehead. Yes, I can see he meant Page 1 of the Layoutscene photos. And to think I slogged through all those Pac posts on Page 1, sheesh.

    I don’t feel too bad about reposting links, as it helps to refresh our memories and to help any new folks who may have missed them. I had seen them elsewhere, but not here, small world. Pacific Time Zone, here…

  264. Mapper at 448: “I think its a point that should be dropped here . . . .”

    Well, Mapper, thank you for your opinion. However, the rest of us deserve the same freedom of opinion that you have so thoroughly exercised. Your attempt to control any debate on this forum is completely inappropriate.

  265. Maggie, thanks for the info re: JoCoSAR’s response to Sheriff Daniels, interesting!! I’m finding that in reading these articles now, my perspective has changed from when I first may have seen them, so I’m backtracking rereading
    some of them. This particular one I don’t think I’d seen, and it struck me when they said to “be careful which county you get lost in!!” As if that would be a factor…!

  266. brenda

    your right its my opinion, not trying to control anyone, but we already know we can’t make kati speak and should not try to. how is that debatable?

  267. 496 – Looks like Spencer did not go that week since he posted again on 12/20 (and had previously said he wouldn’t go if he couldn’t go in a 2WD). He’s probably just living life away from in front of the keyboard 🙂 I’d feel better if he stopped by to just say Hi, though, too.

  268. 455 – Yos, now that I saw that entry on the layoutscene map, P.1, it makes perfect sense, and they did do the correction. Thank you, I had missed this post while catching up.

  269. 509 – Tara, it was at Page Two 506 –

    Well, what can’t be accomplished by man has been accomplished by nature. No one will be taking this route again this winter… The BLM portion of the road has been closed due to a rock slide.

    (link not working – see new link below)

  270. ***Happy 2007!***


    I found the answers to some of the questions people were
    posting yesterday that I think never got confirmed:

    “On Wednesday, Nov. 29, the family ran out of gas and started a fire with magazines, but the available wood was frozen, heavy and hard to gather. The next day, they turned to a spare tire for an afternoon fire. On Friday, they removed the four tires from their car and, by 11 a.m., had stoked a blaze they hoped would attract attention. By afternoon, their fire was out. They heard the chop of a helicopter in the distance. Then the sound grew softer and disappeared.”

  271. 523 – Lisa, good work! I remember reports that the tires were burned at night, which brought forth lots of criticism, i.e. “Why didn’t they burn them in the daytime?” Glad you found this, but it’s another thing that Kati could verify. It’s so good to reread these articles now, some facts have emerged and many are yet to do so.

  272. CAP query.

    Does anyone have further information on the Civil Air Patrol not having ever been contacted or involved in the search in any way?

    It was the CAP who were about to be taking off to look for me once and the CAP who had telephoned all the enroute airports to first inquire about our plane. Sure there is a difference between the plains of Kansas and the rugged, forrested slopes of Oregon. Sure there are differences between a Cessna and a helicopter, but I can’t see any reason for the CAP to have been excluded.

  273. Cell phone idea: would it work??

    Let us recall that the Edge Communications engineer who noticed the SMS or ‘text’ signal was a great help in pinpointing the location of the stranded car but started out solely with the information that it was within a 26 mile diameter circle of a particular cell phone tower. Cell phone towers are often few in rural and very rugged areas.

    What about a mobile cell phone “tower” of very low power being carried aboard a search aircraft. Searchers fly over the humungous expanse of impassible terrain while dialing the cell phone number of the missing person from an airplane equipped with a low power cell phone tower. The voice and text calls are made and the cell phone tower logs are analyzed with reference to where the plane was flying at various times.

    It would be a way of having “virtual” cell phone towers out in the wildnerness and since the “virtual” towers are low power ones, any “hit” is immediately useful because the circle of probability is very small rather than 26 miles.

  274. I’m working on an upcoming adventure and had out my local area maps. Since I’m headed to the wilderness the first thing I pulled out was the County topo maps – then I started thinking. I would hope that ODOT would consider removing the Bear Camp Road completely from the state map and putting the comment that mapper suggested somewhere. By memory it was something like “see USFS for detailed map of forest roads”.

    I’m trying to think of what harm that would cause to not have the road on the state map – It seems that anyone really headed for the wilderness areas intentionally would know to get something other than a state map – and it seems that anyone wanting family travel roads would go to the ODOT map. So, WHY is Bear Camp even on the map? I know it wouldn’t solve everything, but I would think it would cut down on future accidental tourists getting into those backroads.

    Just some early morning ramblings with not enough coffee yet. . . 🙂

  275. I have wondered that and I believe LONG back in our conversation a local had a good insight. BC wasnt on the map (online maps) untill I think she said about a year ago? She and her husband live out there and were constantly redirecting folks once BC showed up online.
    SHe said which month she believed it came online. After some research I found that the road was changed in its designation due to the high volume of forrest logging trucks. (this is some kind of regulation.. if it is used a particular amount or generates x amount of money… something like that-memory’s bad and coffee not strong enough) Once it was change in its designation it was then supposed to be maintained (by BLM I believe) to a specific regulation then it pops up on mapquest, etc…
    Anyone else recall this conversation WAY back at the beginning? Did I explain that enough?

  276. I will say that after one poster so eloquently asked us to stop being armchair quarterbacks and get up and “scoot” into action, I emailed mapquest and asked them to put a warning on that route or eliminate it altogether. I “scooted” best I can. 🙂

  277. Thank you Tara, I’ll go back and review, sounds like something mapper would have been posting about. When I was trying to catch up after travel without my computer I think I might have skimmed a bit much.

    Hmm, still thinking (which can be dangerous). Seems that the ‘mapping’ rules need to be reviewed along with all the other reviews.

  278. Tara (532) – Wonderful – Good for you!! I’ll follow suit and email mapquest too – I would think the more emails the better.

    I think I’ll email the State Transportation too. Can’t hurt . . .

  279. I am not a mapper..ette.. and I was trying hard to figure it all out, but in my limited ability that was what we came up with. So if mapper weighs in (she must’ve celebrated too much last night 🙂 ) she will know MUCH better than I…

  280. Thanks so much Tara,

    I’m off to work on some projects – including these leters – I’m going to throw in BLM and the Governor’s office too. If you think of others that would be good to send to, post them.

    Hope you have a wonderful New Years Day!

  281. I don’t think removing it altogether from the maps is the right answer. It IS, in summer, a viable – albeit lengthy, route to the coast. One of the problems with that part of Oregon is a dearth of roads – period – to the coast below Roseburg. I just don’t think it will happen anyway as that horse is already out of that barn and there are so many maps floating around with it on them.
    Ample signage, flashing lights, closed in winter, whatever it takes at the junction…and unequivocal warnings impossible to miss on maps, but removing it from maps strikes me as the wrong answer.
    There are plenty of other roads in Oregon on maps that are closed in winter. That doesn’t mean you take them off the maps. McKenzie Pass is a prominent example cited previously.

  282. Tara,,,
    Its either a problem unique to that particular logging road being on the map or its a problem that logging roads in general are shown on the state map. I’m not sure if a ‘band aid’ approach works if there are zillions of such roads on the state map.

    I would like to state now that I was once on a no-longer-remembered-route-number from a major highway heading toward the California Coast somewhere in $pendocino county or just north of it. The last 28 miles of that route to the coast was a fairly steep and most definitely twisty road where headlights were on during the day due to dense foliage and most curves were marked at 15 or lower and often taken at less than marked speed. It really was a pleasant adventure driving that final segment, but I sure was glad for the sign umpteen miles back that warned me about that final 28 mile segment! I read the sign, I understood the sign, I calculated my situation as to vehicle, driving skills, season of the year, supplies, etc. and I proceeded onward with a sense of adventure and a sense of confidence.

  283. and Paul, on a advanced search, I clicked eliminate roads closed or impassable in winter. BC still shows up, with no problem indicated

  284. 541 – That is just wrong. Mapper probably knows best how to address a fix for that…but I don’t know, were growing so many homegrown Mappers here, maybe you or Maggie could tackle it. 🙂

  285. 540 – Fool’s Gold – You reminded me of a road we took once from the CA coast above Cambria over to the 5. It was probably 3:30 – 4 pm, foggy, and we wanted to get back over to Paso Robles where we were staying. I don’t recall why we just didn’t go back down Highway 1 to Highway 46, but I’m guessing I didn’t care to drive the 1 in fog. Dumb mistake #1.

    The locals directed us to a road that climbed into the mountains, was one lane for a bit, and later went through a military reservation. The first clue should have been when we couldn’t even find the road without close examination of the cliffside.

    It was nothing like Bear Camp, but I remember thinking on the first part “I hope to heck we don’t break down up here”. We didn’t, and have taken the road again since early in the day, but it’s a good example of how people make decisions that turn out to be bad in the end. Actually, ours was bad in the beginning!

  286. 530, I wrote ODOT about the Bear Camp Road and this is what they said. I posted this a long time ago, or it seems like a long time ago.
    Mr. Hollenbeck,

    Thanks for your email message. We are looking at ways to clarify the situation for travelers in regard to Bear Camp Road.

    It is not an ODOT highway (It belongs to BLM) so we can’t indicate whether it is open or not because ODOT doesn’t make that call – and TripCheck reports only on state highways.

    But we are taking a look at all of the light green colored roads on the Web site (these are non-ODOT roads use simply for reference) and determine their value and condition.

    Our approach is likely to be taking the line green road representing Bear Camp Road off of TripCheck all together. This should eliminate any confusion as to whether this road is a good option – regardless of the season.

    Thanks again for your email and input.


    Glen Hammer
    System Manager

  287. I wrote:

    Glen, I noticed in the Bend area you have a green road with a x on it saying winter closure. Is this a ODOT hwy. or BLM? Thank you for your fast response. Bob Hollenbeck

    They wrote:

    Mr. Hollenbeck,

    I think the road that you are referring to is the seasonal closure at McKenzie Pass. This is a state highway. All of the darker green roads on the map are state highways and we do report on these roads. Sorry for the delay in my response, just getting back in after Christmas vacation.
    Glen Hammer

  288. Details in maps are often hard to read. Summer/winter risk on many mountain roads is obviously as dramatic as daylight vs dark. It seems to me that to achieve adequate warmings on common one or two page printed maps is just not practical unless that map is closely zoomed in to a small geographic area and computer based maps have their logistical limitations.

    Why can’t more attention be placed to closing off roads with gates in the winter, but with circumvention methods for locals or other folks who really need to get through? Seems the cost of prevention would be worthwhile when contrasted with the massive dollar cost of intense/long term search and rescue efforts.

    I do know that Kati and James felt okay taking that road in part because the gate was open. Furthermore, they saw evidence via tire tracks that the road was in use. They were surprised to realze first hand that they were on a seldom used roadway. Initially, they thought that someone would drive by the next day and they would be rescued.

    I appreciae all the constructive intent of this group.

    Kati and the girls return midweek. I’m sure Kati will renew her efforts to find a proper forum for telling her story.

    And I wish that Sandy and I lived closer than a full 1000 miles away from our girls.

  289. We took a road once in Eastern Oregon off of 97 toward Christmas Valley as a short cut to a desert motorcycle race. Not a dangerous alternative, but it took forever because it nearly shook the teeth out of our heads with washboard. Since then I’ve been highly suspect of “shortcuts”. They always tempt people though. There should be clear warnings on these shortcuts if at all possible. There are a few shortcuts which obviously tempt a large number of travelers, so it should be easy to identify the dozen “most likely disastrous shortcuts” in Oregon, and SIGN the heck out of them.

  290. Kati’s Dad sir, do you know or feel comfortable telling us if they knew that the road with the gate was not the main road? Or if they’d been on main road to coast, backed up when it became impassable, and for some reason took gated road? Or if they thought mistakenly gated road was way back to freeway? If my questions are too much, just ignore them. I’m not trying to upset you, or anyone else. My questions have been asked quite a lot around here lately. Thanks for clearing up what you could. I appreciate it very much, since we all agree that nothing at all is expected of you or your family.

  291. Kati’s Dad –

    It has been so wonderful for you to join us here.
    It is so good to hear your perspective. We’re glad
    you appreciate our efforts! We wanted to do something
    to help.

  292. Fools Gold at 526: Your post leads to an interesting point. Thanks to Edge Cellular, we know that the Kims either sent or received (not sure which) two text messages the night that they became stranded. What happened with the cell phones after then? Were their batteries drained? Was their final location in a reception hole from the Glendale tower? Surely family members and friends repeatedly tried to call and text-message the Kims, but Edge Cellular records apparently don’t show any completed calls or text messages. Could the two hits have been an automatic voice mail notification that were delivered when the Kim Family drove through a “lucky” spot for reception?

    If we assume that we know the cell phone number of a SAR target in advance, your idea of a flying cell phone tower might work. It seems to me that equipment might be acquired that would repeatedly call the cell phone and listen for an answer. Surely someone has thought of this before and such equipment may be standard in law enforcement circles.

    At the risk of angering the Thought Patrol, here’s my speculation: the Kims lived a busy lifestyle and it was convenient for them to keep their cell phones on and available most of the time. They presumably used these cell phones a lot. Because they were on vacation, the Kims might not have been quite as diligent about charging their phones as they might be otherwise and by the time that they realized that they were stranded, their cell phones had run out of power. They probably had a car charger kit at home but didn’t think to bring it along.

    To check, let’s assume the opposite – that the Kims had two cell phones that were fully charged and working properly. If true, we might guess that they would repeatedly try to summon help. According to my topo map, the Kim Family was stranded at 2400 feet. The base of the Edge cell tower at Wolf Peak is around 3000 feet, with the cell antenna up to several hundred feet higher. From the perspective of the Kim Family’s final location, the Edge cell tower was around 18 miles to the East. Although there are several ridges and peaks between these sites that are higher than either end, it seems unusual that, assumaing repeated attempts, a partial signal failed to get through.

    So what happened to the Kim’s cell phones? Although Kati could theoretically clear this up, nobody has suggested that she be forced to do so. Until and unless she decides to fill in the details, speculation is entirely appropriate.

  293. Brenda: “What happened to the cell phones?” 11:00am. Good question, one to be added to the many I would suppose. I also wonder about if there was any scouting the nearby roads, and I’d have to conclude “NO”. Especially since the road to Black Bar lodge did not get scouted. There was a reported extreme concern with Bear in the area, which may have discouraged the scouting for roads or cell phone reception.

  294. 551 – We pretty much know that if they had even one working cell phone, they weren’t able to send or receive where they were stranded. I would think in that case, James would have taken any working cell phone to try further up the road, and I don’t recall hearing that. I therefore conluded that both phones were surely run down in the first couple of days from attempts to call out and/or the car battery being dead. As you said, pure speculation, and understandably it will remain so until if and when other information surfaces.

  295. 552 D.H. The road to Black Bar is gated and closed at all times and is only and I mean only a 4×4 road. If this helps. Bob

  296. Map Legends, I wish people would pay more attention to them. Or perhaps the paper ODOT legend isn’t very good? You get past a certain type of road, it definitely isn’t worth taking. Are the legends good enough? Could they be clarified to indicate RISK? Perhaps.

  297. Also if anybody was walking near the Black Bar gate, I know they would not know what is down that road, it is not marked saying what is down there, and it should stay that way to keep people out of the lodge. (stealing etc.)

  298. Happy New Year 2007 to everybody!

    Kati’s Dad wrote:
    Why can’t more attention be placed to closing off roads with gates in the winter, but with circumvention methods for locals or other folks who really need to get through?

    I think this seems like an excellent approach but the challenge is to find a gating method that 1) Won’t get vandalized but 2)prevents people from just leaving it open all the time because it’s a “bother” to mess with the gate.

    Part of the challenge in that area is that in summer there is a fair amount of traffic for rafting purposes and gates are probably not going to work well – they’d wind up blocked open or vandalized.

  299. Joe, I know people are looking into what is called a half gate, you have seen my posting about this before. This would be a big gate cemented in the ground at both ends with a large sign on it saying closed during the winter, but still able to drive around it for the local people and loggers. This gate would be down at the Galice road. Bob

  300. 546- Kati’s Dad

    I think we are looking into just about every way we
    can think of to improve all misleading signs, maps,
    etc. involved.

    Often a lot of the problem with making these changes
    seems to be bureaucracy and funding – I don’t know how expensive such gate systems are – but it sure would be worth it to have something more substantial that would
    get the message across and be agreeable to locals as well.

    Many of us have been and will continue to put pressure
    on those agencies involved to make the necessary changes
    in an effective way that all can agree on. We’re just
    still discussing possibilities.

    I know I really want the signs on Bear Camp to be changed
    as of November 1 to:


    I think that would really help reduce the number of people
    who get confused about the possiblity of using the route
    each winter.

    I intend to keep up pressure about the signs until they
    are changed to something strong, clear, and definitive
    as above.

  301. After all the good suggestions here I still think better signage will solve 75%+ of the routing problems for the Rogue Wilderness Roads.

    Current signage is by BLM and USFS is not very ominous – it has a different approach than Oregon Dept Transportation and national signage for most roads.

    The Kims, like the rest of us, are used to road signs that greatly exaggerate the risk. For example the suggested speed limit of 30 on an interstate highway curve almost always leads to people (correctly) assuming they can safely go about 35-40 around that curve.

    The signs up around Bear Camp downplay the risk – they say “may be blocked by snow drifts” rather than “Roads OK in summer but in winter usually impassable due to ice and snow” .

    Why? I’m guessing that the wording was done by folks who know the area well and simply assumed “hey, everybody knows you don’t go over to the coast on that road in winter”.

  302. Hi Bob, good to see you back here with great suggestions!
    This would be a big gate cemented in the ground at both ends with a large sign on it saying closed during the winter, but still able to drive around it for the local people and loggers.

    I like this even better than just signs. This makes it impossible to think you are staying on safe roads. Passing the gate means “I understand this is a dangerous place”.

  303. Lisa, I think I would want to word the sign to include non-actual winter dates that had inclement weather. Remember, we pointed out that it really wasn’t actual winter when the Kims went over the road. Maybe “closed due to poor road conditions” or “closed until further notice due to weather”. Both are wordy and cumbersome, I know, but I’m just trying to anticipate the logic a tired traveler might use.

  304. Happy New Year to all!

    Kati’s Dad, thank you for stopping in again. It’s always good to hear your perspective. I’m glad that you are still reading along with us, and I think we all agree that something needs to be done to let folks know what they are getting into before they wind up on those roads. The idea that James and Kati did think that they were still on a main road and also would be spotted there is a very big deal to me and confirms much of what we’ve been speculating around here about the confusion and lack of good warnings on the roads.

    Something like the half gate that Bob mentioned still sounds like a great idea to me. Anything that would give a better sense of danger to someone seeing it for the first time yet still be accessible by locals gets my vote, and I agree that leaving it up to others to close the gate is putting more trust in just “anyone” than I think is likely deserved.

    Much more ominous signs for certain! But just “winter” is too vague, as is the current warning about what “may” (read: also “may not”) be going on as you continue down the road. Everyone knows how I feel about Gayle’s suggestion of something to the effect of “rain down here/snow up there” signs to go along with some others that have better attention getting wording than the current very generic and not so ominous signs.

    Simple signs and gates really do not need to be that expensive. And I agree with Kati’s Dad and anyone else who has said that it certainly is cheaper than a SAR operation – yet absolutely priceless if it prevents others from driving into that kind of danger.

  305. Kati might find an edited collection of questions from this forum useful to review prior to formally telling her story. I could get it to her or it could be referenced online. That could be balanced with a list of suggestions to come from the group, e.g. it would give some very good positive balance to the effort.

    I really don’t have anymore personal knowledge about their feelings or knowledge on the fatal road they took. I will probably just have to wait like everyone else. I’m please she is leaning toward doing this in documentary form. I think a simple interview would not do it.

    She and the little girls should be back Wednesday. I’m thrilled that they get to have some recovery time together on the beach. It is an amazing contrast when compared to their living circumstances just one month ago.

    Ellen, we are essentially snowbound in Santa Fe. I’ve never seen such snow here.

  306. (567) Kati’s Dad this sounds like an excellent idea but I’m not sure what you mean by balanced by suggestions – suggestions about search effort improvements?

  307. Yes, “suggestions about search effort improvements.” It would be nice to objectively point out some of good ideas coming out of this group, especially those that have already been acted on like contacting

  308. This sounds great. Kati’s Dad – I’ve emailed you with my complete contact information.

    I’m open to anything you think is a good idea though perhaps the best approach will be for me to set up new pages – one that will ONLY have questions for Kati and one with suggestions for solutions. We could edit out inappropriate questions and then you could email this to Kati or she could view it online.

  309. This afternoon I’ve been working on an “extaction” of all those entries that address questions that Kati could answer, leaving out all those about the search, possible prevention, and all the incidental chit-chat. I’ll keep working on it over the next few days and then email it to you, Phil.

  310. 564,566

    I guess I was thinking that if the sign said:


    To me that would mean that it was closed now. But we
    don’t want any “wiggle room.” So, it could say: NOV 1
    at the bottom. It could even say:

    NOV 1

    I have seen in similar situations were they employ a
    combination of signs. Some that might say that above,
    others that say:


    Sometimes a combination of signs can get people’s attention
    more because they don’t all say the exact same thing. They
    can give more information (hammer in the most important
    points) and complement each other with further info.

  311. Lisa, good points! What about having a whole bunch of those orange reflectors imbedded in the pavement at the turnoff going right. The kind that make a terrible noise when you drive over them, just to get the attention of any driver. That would get attention to slow down and read a large sign there, not sure how the road bumps would work in the snow, though. Then a highly reflective sign such as you mentioned, before and after the turnoff. Right in the Y of the fork, there should be a reflective sign that says COAST with a large left arrow. Other words could be added when it’s closed, it could say Coast Route Closed…etc. Just thoughts, brainstorming. I like your ideas, I’m just thinking aloud…(watchout and standback, it’s dangerous).

  312. 575- Yes, Madeleine, I like Coast Route Closed, too!

    I like the ideas for something lighting up also.

    It would be cool if there could be some kind of
    inexpensive motion sensor lights that were solar
    powered on the signs – that could detect motion
    coming their way and then would light up.

    Or even just having the lettering on the signs
    be more reflective. I don’t think the signs there
    now have any reflective materials on them. Do they?

    I already called the Forest Service, but I guess the
    signs are on the earlier parts of Bear Camp where it’s
    BLM? Anyway, I’m going to be calling them and find out
    why the signs haven’t been changed even though there’s
    been all these problems for years. What complications
    there are if any in getting it done. And when it could
    be done.

  313. 578… How about red lights on a warning sign that only flash when the road is closed/unsafe. Sign could say COAST ROAD CLOSED WHEN FLASHING or something like that.

  314. 577- Kati’s Dad-

    I’m glad you like that one!

    578- When I called the Forest Service the people I
    need to talk to were on vacation. But I intend to talk
    to whoever I need to get a better understanding of just who’s in charge of what parts of the road, and who can
    get something done.

    I also think citizens can sometimes help pay for signs?

  315. 579-

    I think that having the Coast Road Closed signs would
    be a good idea especially at the main interchanges.
    I’m not sure if there’s enough traffic to have red lights flashing so much of the winter, and how that would work. I read somewhere that Bear Camp can even still be closed in
    April due to snow.
    I think it’s important to also have signs that indicate
    dangerous condtions ahead in some way.

    It will be interesting to talk to those in charge at the
    agencies and see what they have to say about how the rules
    pertaining to sign regulations and guidelines, and changing them effects what improvements they think can be made.

    However, I think at this point they’ll have to recoginize
    that major changes and improvements need to be made.

    What we need to find is/are the Eric Fuqua(s) (the cell phone worker who went out of his way to get that important cell phone information) – the “Eric Fuqua(s)” of BLM and
    the Forest Service.

    Or else, we just need to follow through until changes are
    made. It would make me happy to do so!

  316. 581- I remember JoCoSAR also saying that SAR had also
    begun the process of talking with the Forest Service
    and BLM about changing the signs, and they were also
    brainstorming ideas.

    I think it will be helpful too if there is additional
    pressure and inquiry coming from the public as well.

  317. I will really feel great if we are able to help
    accomplish some of these changes that need to be made
    on signs, with possible gate improvements, maps, etc. And with the capabilities of people working with the internet and digital technology to assist in the future.

    I think we saw a glimpse of that potential future with
    Mr. Kims efforts to have that satellite moved to help in
    the search. It reminds me of that saying: “For you, I
    would move heaven and earth…”

    I feel so much for Mr. Kim as well, it breaks my heart
    whenever I read that quote he said at the Sheriff’s office:
    “I know what my son is trying to do…”

    It will also be interesting when the SAR report comes
    out to see what they learned and what changes they
    will be making in the future.


    Later tonight I’m putting up a page that will
    ONLY have questions for Kati and another that will ONLY have suggestions for safety ideas for the Bear Camp Road area. These will be passed along to Kati in a few days.

    I’ll be heavily editing those pages to avoid conversations, duplication, and what I think are inappropriate or insulting questions.

    I think Ellen’s working on a summary of questions so far and I’m hoping we can post that as well.

    It’s OK to post questions here and then cut and paste them into the new pages later yourself, but I won’t be able to move questions myself.


  319. OK, Joe, I have a question: Will “Joe’s Bar and Grille” have Michigans? If so — Claire and Carl’s, or Nitzi’s?

  320. Joe, I know it’s off topic, but I love that little picture
    of your mouth! It always makes me smile! I like the smiley
    faces – but that is so original!

  321. 575- p.s. Madeleine (I love that name!)

    I liked all your ideas. Sometimes I think what can
    and will be done ultimately comes down to funding,
    and I don’t know how much those kinds of bumps and
    reflectors cost, etc. It will be interesting to find
    out how much money could be available for making
    changes. It’s true snow may be a factor with some of
    that. I’m not sure what the average snow situation is
    at that main interchange at the bottom of Bear Camp.

    I know that JoCoSAR kept saying funding was a big issue.

  322. Was it Maggie who said the ‘closed in winter’ is a bit too obsure? I agree, onset of ‘winter’ weather can vary greatly from year to year. Especially as the official date for winter isn’t until late December. Could there be a better determination – I’ve seen signs here that state ‘watch for (insert problem) from (insert date) to (insert date). This is just a generalized idea.

  323. 589- Yes, I suggested Nov 1 (573), but because it sounds
    like Bear Camp is often even unclearable in April, it
    could say ‘NOV – MAY’ or something like that.

    I usually think of winter as starting at the first of
    November, even though the official date is Dec. 22, that
    seems way late by experience. I don’t think of November
    as fall really.

    I think that saying Winter (and some dates) helps explain that the road is closed for the winter season.

  324. p.s. Ultimately what the signs say will be up to the
    officials in charge. But it’s always good for the public
    to come up with ideas they can suggest that they think
    would work!

    I don’t know who came up with the signs they have now –
    it would be kind of interesting to find out – and to
    even find out what they thought those signs would make
    the public do. Carefully drive up to the place where
    the road may be blocked or not? Be aware that the road may be blocked? It definitely seems the way it is now is too
    open ended, and not effective enough in letting people
    know the real dangers, and that therefore they shouldn’t
    try it.

  325. I will collect the ideas for signs and present them
    to agency officials when I talk with them, or email
    them separately if that’s what they prefer (probably).

    575- Madeleine – I will copy and paste your ideas
    because they are so specific – unless you want to!

    It looked like Angela was working on some of this too,
    I don’t remember details – but I actually think that
    the more of us who contact them, the more likely they
    are to really do something.

    Unless the process is already set in motion…