Thursday, March 23, 2006

LIFE: Lost – Southern Oregon edition

...So at the newspaper we've been busy covering this story in our back yard the past day or so, which is the top national news on CNN's Web page as I write this. Yep, Southwestern Oregon and our county are big enough that a family of 6 can get lost for two weeks and never be found.

It's hard to believe how remote some areas in our corner of Oregon can get. There are huge chunks of land in our county where you can feel like you're in the middle of Bolivia or something, not see anything but the occasional log truck for miles and miles. Beautiful, but a little scary.

We even drove some of the route this family took on their ill-intentioned drive to the coast last fall, and I can see how easy it is to get lost. It's a tiny winding route that zig-zags through steep mountain country, utterly gorgeous but impossibly isolated. When we drove it last fall, there were a couple points where I wondered if we'd end up lost for good ourselves. Consider then the wisdom of driving in a huge motorhome on these narrow roads in the middle of winter...

Fortunately, this family was all OK, and despite their poor choice of roads (a perfectly decent highway would've taken them from Ashland to the coast easily), they were well-prepared for their impromptu 2-week camping trip. It could've been a lot worse. And I imagine it's a trip they'll never forget.

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