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Missing Hiker Rescued after Nine Days in California Forest. What happened?

A California man planned to hike for three hours. Instead, he became lost for nine days in California’s Santa Cruz mountains. After witnesses heard calls for aid in a wooded area, officials discovered a disheveled Lukas McClish. He was shirtless and carrying only a torch and scissors, according to NBC station KSBW in Salinas.

Missing Hiker Rescued after Nine Days in California Forest

Missing Hiker Rescued after Nine Days:

Officials said McClish, 34, was last seen on the morning of June 11 at Boulder Creek, near Big Basin Redwoods State Park, roughly 14 miles north of Santa Cruz. He didn’t tell anyone he was going on a hike, but when he didn’t show up for Father’s Day five days later, his family became concerned and reported him missing, KSBW reported.

Mcclish Starving for Food:

McClish fell asleep on a bed of moist leaves. He begged for help, drank water from a brook through his boot, ate wild berries, and fantasized of a more cozy dinner; he told the station.”Just say, ‘Help, I’m over here.'” Is anyone out there? McClish told KSBW that he would yell, “I want a burrito and a taco bowl.” “That’s what I thought about every day after the first five days when I realized that I might be in over my head.”McClish spent the days climbing up and down canyons, stopping at waterfalls. Despite being pursued by what some may consider a terrifying companion – a mountain lion — throughout his lost days, McClish stated that he felt “comfortable” the entire time.

“I had a mountain lion following me, but it was cool, so he kept his distance,” McClish told the broadcaster. “I think he was just somebody watching over me.” McClish’s family struggled to sleep at home in Boulder Creek, and his mother, Diane, was concerned about her son’s survival. “Some nights, I just had to trust God that he was going to be OK,” she told the television station KSBW.

What do the Officials Say?

Following reports of calls for assistance, authorities employed drones to pinpoint McClish’s exact location, and a rescue dog assisted in finding him and bringing him to safety. According to authorities, he was not seriously injured. Images of the rescue show when McClish was reunited with his family, coated in dust but hugging his family. Dozens of law enforcement officers and first responders from the Boulder Creek Fire Department, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, state parks, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection helped with the search. McClish’s family thanked everyone, including friends and relatives who assisted with the effort. “I met a lot of people because I had more people come to me and tell me how much they love my son and how they just hoped that we would find him,” Diane McClish of KSBW said. “I didn’t realize that so many people in this town love Luke,” she told me. 

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