“I realised those were shoes, not hooves, and it was a person”

72 year old Greg Randolph had spent a total of four days roaming around a canyon in Oregon when a mountain biker encountered him, entirely by chance.

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Mr Randolph had been left stranded after his Jeep got wedged stuck. His rescuer was 42 year old Tomas Quinones.

The chances of this happening are incredibly slim. This part of the USA is known as the Oregon Outback and covers over 8,000 square miles, with only a few thousand people living in that expanse. It’s said that, at most, one car a week uses the road where Mr Randolph was found.

At first, Mr Quinones thought the lump in the road was just another dead cow (he’d seen a few of those already during his bikepacking adventure).

Quoted in The Oregonian, Mr Quinones explained: “Coming around the bend, I just saw something in the road .. I realized those were shoes, not hooves, and it was a person.”

“He was conscious, but not responding,” Quinones said. “He would grunt and his eyes would roll around, but he couldn’t tell me his name or anything else. He couldn’t sit up.”

Mr Quinones gave Mr Randolph some water. He also set up his bikepacking tent for shade.

After a few days in hospital, Mr Randolph was finally able to describe his ordeal. He’d spent the first night in his Jeep before heading out on the second day to find the last road he’d encountered (approx. 20 miles away). He drank all of meagre water supplies pretty much immediately due to the direct sun and temperatures in the high 20°C’s.

Mr Quinones is an experienced bikepacker and backcountry explorer. He travels with a water filter, plus around 6 litres of water and a SPOT tracker (a GPS signal for SOS duties). When Mr Quinones found Mr Randolph there was no phone signal. In fact Mr Quinones had not had sniff of phone signal for the past two days. So he kicke doff the SPOT tracker and waited for emergency services to arrive on the scene.

Lake County Sheriff Deputy Buck Maganzini: “The real hero of the story is Mr. Quinones … I truly believe Mr. Randolph owes his life to Mr. Quinones.”