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Lost cyclist aids in own rescue

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

A 31-year-old Durango bicyclist found his way out of the larger Hermosa Creek drainage late Wednesday after losing his way and spending the night in the wilderness.

Brian Olson apparently was none the worse for wear, Butch Knowlton, director of emergency preparedness for La Plata County, said Thursday.

Knowlton said numerous search groups, including a mounted unit, bicylists and helicopters, began looking for the lost rider after authorities were alerted about midnight Tuesday.

Few details are available, Knowlton said, because he and emergency-service responders were busy on the Lightner Creek Fire. Even the spelling of the riderís name has not been verified, he said.

The rider left his vehicle Tuesday at the trailhead for Hermosa Creek and Jones Creek. After losing his way on Dutch Creek, he found his way to Elk Creek and then to Hermosa Creek.

At some point, the Elk Creek trail petered out and the rider had to carry his bicycle. He came out on his own power, Knowlton said.

The area is heavily vegetated and cattle trails present a confusing labyrinth of paths, Knowlton said.

daler@durangoheald.com

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