OAKLEY, Summit County — Many of us have that favorite spot to get away from it all.
“We love the Uintas, it’s great,” said Lloyd Norman while sitting on a rock at the Crystal Lake Trailhead. “It’s beautiful out here.”
The Uinta Mountains seem to be getting more popular and crowded every year with visitors, but there are plenty of places you can go where you won’t see a soul.
“It’s an enormous area. It’s almost unfathomable to think of how large it is,” said Norman.
However, all that space can be a problem when someone disappears in the area.
“We just felt impressed to come out and help,” said Norman. “When we heard that this gentleman was actually lost on Wednesday evening, it rang true to us because we were also in the area at that time.”
Norman and his wife decided to hike in the Uintas Saturday because Charles Ray Humpherys is still missing.
Humpherys, 66, was camping with his family near Hidden Lake on Wednesday when he went to get some water to put out their campfire.
It was the last time anybody saw him.
“It’s pretty easy to empathize if you were the one who had a lost family member out here. How would you feel?” said Norman.
Summit County search and rescue teams have been looking for Humpherys since he was reported missing.
On Saturday, volunteers were being organized by the Garrett Bardsley Foundation.
It’s a team of searchers who know the area, named after a young boy who also disappeared here more than 10 years ago and was never found.
“We are basically an arm to the search and rescue team,” said Lynn Deppe, who led a hike into one of the areas near Bald Mountain. “It’s very organized and we have an advanced mapping system that enables us to lay out grids. We search by grids and they’re 500 meter grids that allow us to really control the grids we search.”
The same team also searched for 74-year old Melvin Heaps in the same area just last year.
He, too, is still missing.
However, there is always hope. Especially for Humpherys because it’s only been a few days.
“We really don’t know the family but God bless them,” said Norman. “If you’re going to have some reasonable hope of finding someone, you need help.”
The Garrett Bardsley Foundation will continue the search for Humpherys Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. at the Crystal Lake Trailhead. The organization is asking for volunteers to help with the search. More information is available on their website.
Anyone with information about Humpherys is asked to call the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at 435-615-3600.