PORT ANGELES — A Maple Valley man exploring his new, heavily wooded property east of Port Angeles went missing for more than four hours Wednesday before a Clallam County search and rescue crew found him safe and sound on an access road.
Kenneth Curl, 66, was greeted with warm clothes by his family at about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
“They took him to a hotel to warm up,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Shaun Minks said Thursday.
“He went for a walk on the property and it’s really dense in there and he had a hard time finding his way back.
“He found an access road and stayed there.”
Curl and his wife, Gila, purchased the 15-acre parcel on Twilight Beach Road 9 miles east of Port Angeles in November.
He set out to walk the parcel at 5 p.m. Thursday, Chief Deputy Brian King said.
Fifteen minutes later, Curl called his family to say he had found the road and was heading back to them, Minks said in a press release.
His family called authorities at 6:41 p.m., but his phone was off due to low battery power, Minks said.
Deputies found the trail he had taken but also came upon several game trails leading in different direction.
A county search-and-rescue team had geared up and was beginning to look for Curl when he was located “cold and wet but in good health,” Minks said in the press release.
Northwest Bloodhounds Search and Rescue also responded. Timber on the property was in various stages of growth.
“He got turned around in there pretty quickly,” King said.
Aerial mapping showed roughly where Curl was lost.
“We knew if he stuck to those roads, our success would be quick,” King said.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.