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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 9:09 pm:   

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the recent tragedy involving a California family stranded in the mountains of Oregon. (If not, here's a link.)

On Sunday, Angie and I ventured to the Grants Pass area to attempt to retrace the ill-fated route the Kim family took that resulted in the death of James Kim.

I had closely followed news reports regarding the story and was under the impression the valley-to-coast shortcut the family attempted to use (Bear Camp Road) was not far from the main highway, Interstate 5. Boy was I wrong.

Here's a pic of the first road sign for Bear Camp Road. It's located near the town of Merlin, several miles west of I-5 and very close to the Rogue River.

However: Before one can access Bear Camp Road, they must first leave the main roads and travel a confusing maze of extremely narrow logging roads that go high into the mountains. The few signs we passed along the way were confusing and hard to see, even during the daytime.

Miles before Bear Camp Road, Angie took this pic. As you can see, the elevation is getting pretty high, there's already ice and snow, and the road is narrow and poorly traveled. And it's still miles to Bear Camp Road.

About five miles before we reached the beginning of Bear Camp Road, right around 12:30 pm, we were forced to turn back due to the poor conditions. Keep in mind the Kim family traveled the area at night, made it to Bear Camp Road, then mistakingly took a logging road for another 15 miles before they got stuck.

Angie and I agreed that if we were the Kims, we would have turned around shortly after leaving that last main road of the route a few miles outside of Merlin. It's amazing to us that they ventured on. In fact, I can't believe more people don't get stranded up there.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 9:30 pm:   

The logging road that they took in on that last fatal stretch had been padlocked shut and vandals had cut the chain that blocked traffic from entering. They took the road assuming it was open to traffic.
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Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 9:58 pm:   

There was a story about the same road, that a man got lost ten years before in the same way. He got stuck in his truck-camper and couldnt get out and slowly starved to death. They found him months later in the spring when the snow had melted . He kept a journal to his wife. Isnt it ironic when the Pacific Northwest is having such bad weatther the East is basking in beautifull short sleve weather.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 10:55 pm:   

It's pretty mild in Delaware for this time of year, but the Pacific Northwest certainly has the edge in terms of scenery.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 11:11 pm:   

Doug, it's incredibly scenic. Unfortunately I couldn't take as many pics as I wanted due to this being mating season for Sasquatches.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 3:37 am:   

No wonder no one ever gets any good pictures of the critters.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 7:51 am:   

Being a flatlander, driving mountain roads gives me the willies. I actually get vertigo and have to pull over to get my bearings. Why those people continued to drive in the darkness on a terrible road is beyond my comprehension. There is always tomorrow - why press your luck?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 9:49 am:   

Reminds me of John Kennedy Jr. He just had to get there right away, even though he couldn't fly by instrument and it was getting dark.
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Etphoto
Username: Etphoto

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 4:58 am:   

What kind of vehicle were they driving? Anyone know?

ET
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 6:21 am:   

2005 silver Saab 9-2X Station wagon.
A picture is shown here:
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december032006/ kim_120206.php

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