Authorities are searching for a 67-year-old San Francisco man who mysteriously disappeared from a bicycle tour campsite in Death Valley last week.
The man, George Kohler, was a member of an Adventure Cycling Association sponsored week-long bike tour called Death Valley Loop I.
They were camped on March 12 at the Mesquite Spring campground in the north part of the national park. While others remained at a campfire, Kohler announced he was tired and heading back to the tent.
When he didn’t show up the next morning, his fellow riders saw that all his gear was still in the tent and his sleeping bag appeared undisturbed. They notified authorities immediately.
The Las Vegas Review Journal said seven local, state and federal agencies are involved in the search. The Inyo County sheriff’s office put out the word Tuesday to seek the public’s help in locating the man.
Terry Baldino, spokesman for the National Park Service in Death Valley, told the newspaper said that it isn’t difficult for a person to disappear in the park, even from a campground. If a person decides to go for a walk in the dark, doesn’t tell anyone where he is going and then becomes incapacitated somewhere out in the desert, searchers might not know where to look and could walk right by a downed man without seeing him.
Adventure Cycling wrote at its blog:
“From the moment Adventure Cycling staff were aware of the situation, we have been working closely with the authorities. The Inyo County (California) sheriff’s office is leading the investigation.”
Description and contact
The man is a personal trainer with 7 years experience at Club One in San Francisco. He wrote at his website, trainergeorge.com, that he rode his bicycle cross-country from San Diego to Tallahassee in 2000 to celebrate the millenium.
Kohler is 5-foot-7 and weighs about 160 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue jacket, Navy blue T-shirt, and black pants.
Anyone who may have seen anyone matching his description on the road to Scotty’s Castle should contact the Inyo County sheriff’s office at 760-878-0323.
Mark Bosworth disappearance
The reports are reminiscent of the disappearance of Portland resident Mark Bosworth during Bike Oregon last September.
Bosworth, 54, went missing from a Bike Oregon campground on Sept. 16. A cancer survivor was had volunteered to help out on the bike tour vanished without a trace after saying he was heading back to his tent.
Authorities have been unable to locate the man, in spite of an intensive search of the area and a nationwide media campaign by his family and supporters.
Bosworth was a cancer survivor who may have been suffering medical problems. Friday marked six months since his disappearance. More details at the Find Mark Bosworth Facebook page.