Friday, May 1, 2009

Michigan Hiker Missing on the Appalachian Trail

Ken Knight
Ken Knight (photo from Backpacking Light)
based on news articles from and information from the greatlakeshikes egroup

A massive search is being launched for an Ann Arbor man who has not been seen since Sunday morning, April 26, on the Appalachian Trail. Kenneth R. Knight, 41, was last seen between 9 and 10 a.m. Sunday at Punchbowl Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway, mile 51.7, near Buchanan and Bedford, Virginia. Knight is an editor at Backpacking Light, and they received this last report from him.

Knight is an experienced hiker, but has low vision. He regularly keeps in touch via iPhone, and his last check-in was about 6:30 Sunday morning. At that time he reported not feeling well and said that he might go off the trail. This may mean that he planned to head for a town to find a motel. However, he then failed to rendezvous with hikers on Tuesday night and missed his flight back to Michigan on Wednesday.

Ken is a well-known figure in Ann Arbor where he volunteers at the Ark, and the Hands-On Museum. He is also popular with hikers for his podcasts which he publishes at "Wandering Knight, A Low-Vision View of the World."

Members of the large Yahoo egroup, greatlakeshikes, have been scurrying to put together a team of seven men to assist with the search, and a group is leaving today to join the official Virginia Search-and-Rescue teams (VA SAR). With the aid of Knight's parents the group was able to enter Knight's residence and package various items of worn clothing which will be taken to Virginia and used to orient the search dogs. About 14 groups so far have volunteered to assist with the search.

Ken's hiking experience raises hopes that he is holed up somewhere awaiting help. He had several days worth of food with him when he was last heard from. However, everyone is very concerned at the length of time since he was known to be all right. The weather has been mild, which is another hopeful sign. The Park Service and local volunteers did an immediate search to try to eliminate obvious solutions to the question of where Knight might be. No trace of him was found.

Anyone who saw Knight or knows of his whereabouts after Sunday morning is asked to call Amherst County Police at 434-946-9300.

Backpacking Light President, Ryan Jordan, made a statement: "It's really important at this point to let VA SAR take the reigns and do what they are trained to do. VA SAR is somewhat unique in that it's one of the few states in the nation where statewide SAR teams can be mobilized quickly and consistently. They have good infrastructure, good support, and a lot of people."

See Ann Arbor hiker missing on Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Virginia
See About 14 groups begin massive search for Ann Arbor hiker missing on the Appalachian Trail
See Backpacking Light
Join Great Lakes Hikes egroup
See The Wandering Knight
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
See Get Off The Couch

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails