75-year-old hiker survives three nights lost in Mount Hood National Forest

David Bullock says he worried about his wife and family

MOSIER, Ore. (KOIN) — For three nights, David Bullock shivered in the Mount Hood National Forest as searchers looked for the 75-year-old hiker and his dogs.

Bullock and his wife, Joella, were hiking near Laurence Lake last week when he went to explore a rock formation. He left his backpack — with his food and water — with his wife, but he took the dogs with him.

Four hours later, his wife called for help to find him. An immediate search on ground and by air didn’t find him.

The search continued, and continued, but with little luck. David, described by Joella as “tough,”  was wearing just a t-shirt and shorts. He found stream water but spent those nights shivering.

On Friday morning he spotted a search helicopter but they didn’t spot him. He hiked higher and saw Laurence Lake was below, and by Sunday he hiked to the lake. He yelled to some fishermen and was soon reunited with his wife.

He’s very grateful to the searchers from all the different agencies who helped look. But he was worried about Joella.

“You lie there at night and imagine her, you know, nobody and all of the things you’re not going to be able to do and your family,” Bullock told KOIN 6 News. “And then you have to say, ‘I can’t think about that. I just have to concentrate on getting out of here.’”

He’s in pretty good shape after his three days in the forest. He said they will return to the area to hike — but not for a while.

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