Grants Pass Travel Guide
James Kim / Maps / Oregon Coast / Winter Roads / Driving / Travel Safety / → All Tags
James Kim's heart wrenching lost-in-the-Oregon-wilderness story came to a tragic end yesterday.
The recovery of Kim's body ended an 11-day ordeal for his young family, who through amazing resourcefulness managed to survive for over a week after getting lost Nov. 25 on a mountain pass on their way home to San Francisco after spending Thanksgiving in Seattle.
The Grants Pass Swift Water Rescue Team who followed Kim's trail and discovered his body, also had an incredibly tough time searching the treacherous Oregon terrain.
So how did a the Kim family end up here?
The family's ordeal began when they missed a Highway 42 exit from Interstate 5. They had eaten dinner in Roseburg, Ore., and were trying to make it over the mountains to the coastal town of Gold Beach where they planned to stay the night, Kati Kim told authorities after her rescue. Looking at an Oregon map, they decided to take Bear Camp Road out of Grants Pass instead. The road is primarily used in the summer by rafters on the Rogue River. The route isn't plowed in the winter.
While this sounds impossible, go ahead and check out MapQuest's directions from Grants Pass to Gold Beach. Yup, they include Bear Camp Road. Furthermore, take a look at Bear Camp Road on Google Maps (the road connects Grants Pass to Gold Beach)--it looks completely ordinary. Furthermore, drill down on the Google map satellite view, you can see how thick and vast the Cascade forest is directly off of Bear Camp Road.
When traveling, especially in winter storm areas, always make sure to check with locals, consult maps, and constantly check the weather reports. Needless to say, hindsight is always 20/20.
Heartfelt sympathies are with James' family, friends, and coworkers.