By Mary O’KEEFE
A long hike ended for two hikers and their dog on Sunday when Montrose Search and Rescue responded to a call for help.
A La Cañada father, daughter and their dog were hiking from Switzer Falls to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said John Rodarte, MSR team member.
“They got off the trail,” said Sgt. Gonzales, Crescenta Valley Station, said of the hikers. “They had been hiking six-and-a-half hours and their dog got tired.”
Rodarte added that the dog’s paws were bleeding when the trio was found.
“[The father] had hiked the trail several times but not since the Station Fire,” he said. The Station Fire destroyed or damaged many trails.
“They were about 200 yards north of the dam near Oakwilde Campground at the bottom of the Arroyo Seco,” said John Camphouse, MSR captain, of where the hikers were found.
Camphouse had the team divide into two sections; one went to the bottom of the Arroyo Seco with a wheeled litter basket. The other rescuers went to the top of the dam.
“Our first team [at the top] met up with the father, daughter and dog,” he said.
Those at the bottom of the dam pulled the litter basket up to the top and the dog was placed in the litter.
“The dog was about 11 years old,” Rodarte said. “At one point [during their hike] they saw a bear. They continued to hike but the dog was tiring out and started lying down in the stream. The father had even hiked with the dog on his shoulders for awhile.”
When they got to an area where they had cellphone reception, the father called home, told his wife what had happened and asked for help.
Two officers from the U.S. Forest Service found the worn-out hikers and waited with them until MSR hiked back to them.
“It was a 40-minute hike,” Camphouse said.
The team was able to get the hikers and the dog back to the area where their vehicle was parked.