The sound of a .45- caliber pistol fired by a stranded, injured hiker in Olympic National Park alerted searchers to his location in a canyon clearing hidden by trees, park officials and the hiker said Thursday.
Tim Bailey, 32, of Mountlake Terrace said he fired his pistol intermittently from Monday until he was found Wednesday and hoisted out of the ravine by helicopter.
He started with 14 rounds.
“I have five left,” Bailey said in a telephone interview as he and his wife, Whitney, 31, drove home Thursday.
Bailey, who was reported overdue Sunday, was found at the bottom of a ravine near the North Fork of the Sol Duc River suffering from a broken ankle that he splinted with foam from his backpack and strips of fabric from his tent.
An experienced hiker, he was on a three-day hike when he tried to traverse the wall of a drainage ravine late Saturday afternoon, slipped on loose dirt, and tumbled 150 feet down the ravine, landing in a small clearing near a creek.
This reminds me of stories from the old West. You always see the Cowboys with their six guns strapped to their hips, and Hollywood of course overplays the events of gunfights in those days, but in reality the guns were there for defense from deadly critters, ending the suffering of sick and injured livestock, the potential for Indian attacks, and probably most used for signalling across long distances from before the day.
The signaling purposes is also a good reason for large capacity magazines, as you can easily have many rounds at your disposal. Also for signalling, .22 out of a pistol is loud enough to ring your ears, but not loud enough to carry much further than shouting, so center-fire is a MUST!
Glad he was found and is OK!