With not a word heard from him for nearly five days, David Wolfe of Kooskia, lost in the back country, walked out on his own last Friday, July 27.
According to Capt. Jim Gorges, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, Wolfe showed up that morning at the Whitewater Ranch, not hungry, was in good spirits “joking and talking,” and did not need medical attention.
Information was relayed to Gorges by e-mail from a person at the ranch who stated Wolfe said he had plenty of food and water for the duration. Wolfe stated he had been over every trail in the Dixie area twice in the past few days, and at one point a helicopter flew right over him, but the thick brush obscured both it and him from being seen.
Wolfe, 73, was reported overdue from a hiking trip on Monday, July 20, by his wife, Elizabeth, according to ICSO. That Wednesday, July 15, he was flown to the Campbell’s Ferry area on the Salmon River. His intention was to hike to Dixie where his blue Toyota T100 pickup truck was parked near the airstrip. He made a satellite phone call the morning of July 19 and was not heard from after that time.
On July 20, ICSO Posse members located the vehicle still parked near the airstrip and searched the Comstock Mine area. On July 21, a Life Flight helicopter flew the area and ICSO deputies and posse members, China Bar Lodge employees, Red River Forest Service employees all assisted in the search.