OREGON — A 72-year-old man and his two dogs took the road less traveled by to explore the isolated Oregon high desert. The cyclist who took it next helped save their lives.
Mountain biker Tomas Quinones discovered a man, severely dehydrated and nearly unconscious, on a July 18 ride through the canyon. When he first saw it, he thought the figure up ahead was a dead cow.
Then he saw it move.
“I realized those were shoes, not hooves, and it was a person,” Tomas Quinones told the Oregonian.
He found instead Greg Randolph, who had set out with his canine companions Buddy and Cruella to explore the sparse region on July 14, police said.
His plans were dashed when he lodged his Jeep between rocks, stranding them. Randolph took off on foot the next morning, hiking more than 14 miles in the dry heat toward the nearest road, police said.
He collapsed four days into his trip with Cruella by his side.
Local and state rescue teams recovered Randolph and Cruella an hour after Quinones alerted them. Lake County sheriff’s deputy Buck Maganzini told the Oregonian if it weren’t for Quinones, Randolph might not have survived.
It took two more days for police to find Randolph’s abandoned Jeep, where Buddy had staked out shelter while Randolph and Cruella took off to find help.
The pup likely drank from a puddle of mud to survive, police said.
The owner and his dogs are all recovering at home.