A Bend woman who failed to return from a day hike in the Cascade Lakes with her two dogs triggered an all-night search involving nearly 30 people that ended when the woman turned up 20 miles from where she?d headed out, unhurt and in good shape, authorities said.
Deschutes County 911 dispatchers got a call around 9 p.m. Friday from concerned family members who said Dianne Billingsley, 45, had gone for a day hike in the Cascade Lakes area with her two Jack Russell terriers and had not returned, said sheriff?s Deputy Liam Klatt, assistant SAR coordinator.
Billingsley, said to be an experienced hiker, was reported to have a small pack with food and water, but was not dressed for an overnight stay, family members said. She also had a cell phone with her, but attempts to call her went unanswered, Klatt said.
At first, it was not known exactly where Billingsley had decided to go hiking, Klatt said, but her vehicle later was located at the Horse Lake Trailhead.
All attempts to obtain GPS coordinates for Billingsley?s cell phone were unsuccessful, Klatt said. Limited cell phone coverage in the area meant only that searchers knew the woman was on the move..
Three sheriff?s deputies and ten Sheriff?s Search and Rescue members headed to the area and searched for Billingsley through the night, the deputy said. Another 16 SAR members were called in to take over the search in the morning.
Shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday, Billingsley called 911 to report she had hiked through the night over to McKenzie Bridge in the Three Sisters Wilderness area, about 20 miles northwest of the Horse Lake Trailhead where she began, Klatt said.
Billingsley located an area resident?s home and was able to use their phone to contact 911.
A SAR member retrieved Billingsley from McKenzie Bridge and brought her back to her vehicle and waiting family members at the trailhead, Klatt said.
SAR officials did not get a chance to interview her to get any further details as to what happened. They told news partner KBND radio they intend to interview her Sunday.