C. Ore. team hikes in dark to help sick backpacker

BEND, Ore. — Nine Deschutes County volunteers hiked through the dark early Wednesday to retrieve a 69-year-old backpacker from Iowa who called 911 to say she was severely ill and couldn’t continue her trek in the Cascade Range.

The county search and rescue team reported the team used a wheeled litter to get the woman back to the Lava Camp Lake trailhead.

They say Mary Johnson of Sioux City and her 78-year-old husband, Pete, were about three miles south of the trailhead, and she used another hiker’s cellphone to call about 9: 15 p.m. Tuesday.

The rescue team reached her about 1:30 a.m. and got her back to the trailhead about 4:30 a.m.

Her illness wasn’t described. She told authorities she would seek medical care on her own.

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