The prayers of local bed and breakfast owner Laura Donaldson -- and more than a dozen other Schroon Lakers concerned about the well-being of a party of five missing hikers -- were answered late this morning when all were found safe and well.
The hikers, from Miami, Florida, were out hiking Tahawas, Thursday when they apparently took a wrong turn and didn’t show up as expected at Laura’s Rocky Acres Bed and Breakfast in Olmstedville. At around 11 pm last night Laura called NY State Troopers, who launched a search in conjunction with Forest Rangers.
At around midnight the hiker’s rental car was discovered at the trailhead and the search began.
Early Friday Laura posted on Facebook about the sleepless night she had while waiting for word about the hikers .
“Stomach in knots,” Laura posted. “Say a prayer they are found safe & sound - with only big stories to tell when they get back to Miami.”
More than a dozen people followed her story and started a prayer chain for the missing hikers. Laura, and the online community rejoiced when the hikers were found on Friday afternoon.
“They are in great spirit s- soaking wet but DEC officer had change of clothes-actually good with the bonding & true Adirondack experience as all's well that end's well. 8 miles turned into 25+ - they were not sure where they missed turn - but with all the blow downs I have I can imagine how it could have changed terrain!
When Schroon Laker spoke with Laura this afternoon, you could hear the relief in her voice as she explained what happened.
“The group all work together at a theme park in Miami. They wanted to come to the Adirondacks and do some hiking. They hadn’t seen snow before. They got a good start, but got lost when the heavy rain came down yesterday afternoon. There are so many blown over trees, it’s easy to see how they could get turned around.”
During the anxious hours of not knowing the fate of the missing hikers, Laura said she was comforted by the prayers and phone calls from the greater Schroon Lake community.
“It’s what makes this community the great place it is.”
At around 11 am today Forest Rangers contacted her with the good news they had been found. The group then had to hike out of the trail.
Back at Rocky Acres, the group took hot showers. They were napping when we called.
“They didn’t sleep last night. It was very cold and they were soaking wet. Their leader kept them from falling asleep to prevent hypothermia”
Laura said after the group rested they most likely will be heading into Schroon Lake tonight for pizza and maybe a few beers.
“They got a real good taste of the Adirondack spirit. They want to come back.
"The Forest Rangers did a fanatsic job in helping them out."