Tuesday 23 July 2019

Lucky Bastard Canyon, CA

I share this from the July 2010 Action List of active U.S. Board on Geographic Names proposals:

 A San Diego ASTREA fire/rescue helicopter was fighting a brush fire in the eastern part of the county near Carrizo Creek during the summer of 2008. While transitioning between the fire and their water source, the helicopter crew noticed a body on the ground. The charred body was obviously dead, so the medical examiner was appraised of the situation, and the helicopter crew reported that they would return to retrieve the body during daylight hours the following day. However, when the helicopter crew and medical examiner investigator returned the next day, they had difficulty locating the body. While flying in the wrong direction along the valley, one of the crew saw “a wildly waving bunch of tall reeds” in a part of the canyon where there was typically no wind. The pilot returned to the area and hovering directly overhead the crew was able to determine that there was a live individual “flat on his back on the canyon floor shaking those reeds for all he was worth.” The individual could only have been seen from directly overhead because he was completely surrounded by brush and the steep canyon wall. The “Lucky Guy” was determined to be in no condition to leave the site on his own, having only a barely detectable pulse. It was determined that the individual had likely been at the spot for two days, without food or water. Despite rapidly building thunderstorms that threatened to cause flash flooding, the helicopter crew was able to hoist “Lucky” out of the valley and transport him to the hospital. Since that time, the valley has been known by local fire and rescue crews as Lucky Bastard Canyon.

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