Rimrock Search

December 13th, 2009

After my brief sleep and the long night of running calls with Pullman Fire I was up and getting dressed to head to Colton for the search for the hunter. I met up with Rich and Craig in Pullman and we had a caravan down there. When I got to the basecamp there were only a dozen people down there or so. It was early on. I was teamed up with three young men. It turned out it was the son of the missing man and his friends. They wanted to put a member of the SO with each team going out searching. We were sent down the road a ways to start our search. The son was leading the way as he knew the area well. We made our way along some level ground. There was about four inches of new snow. It was covering rocks on the ground so we had to be careful where we stepped.

As we went along we got to the hillside and started to work our way down. We split up into two groups to cover two sides of a large draw. I was teamed up with a friend of the son who is in the military with him. We made our way slowly down some steep hillsides. There was brush that was hard to see through so we sometimes had to go lower on the hill to look around it. The hillside was steep enough that we had to slowly make our way down it sliding. Then we found a point where a creek made its way down the draw. It was frozen over so we were walking on the ice trying to get down in a safe way. We had to slide down parts of that. At one point we got to a place where there was a twenty foot drop. We couldn’t go up nor down. So we had to go up this side hill. There were no good hand and foot holds. It was steep and we needed to make sure we didn’t slip or we would go off the twenty foot cliff. I was really scared. At one point I didn’t have any good hand holds. I was laying on this hillside that I thought I could be a hurting unit if I messed up. There was large clumps of grass to hold on to. But those were higher up than I was. So I had me to get up to them. I was with a young man named Adam. He helped me get past that point. Then we worked our way down some more, but it was very steep still. I was thinking that we would have to make our way back up this hill side after we got to the very bottom. But the other group had already been there so we started to work our way up the hill. It took another hour or so to get up to the top. It was a relief to be up top.

We got back to basecamp and I worked on what help they needed there. I didn’t get sent out on another mission after that point that day. We had been gone for four hours as it was. Adam and I spent some time talking. I also got his facebook profile up and added him as a friend.

I was at the command post until four-thirty. I wasn’t sure if I was going to come back on Monday so I went to the son and to Adam and said goodbye to them. The son said “See you tomorrow”. I think that really help me decide that I would need to come back tomorrow.

I went home and stayed up until ten. I had to fight going to sleep, but I didn’t want to go to sleep at five in the afternoon and be up and sitting around at three in the morning.

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