LINVILLE — A hiker briefly went missing at Rough Ridge on the evening of Oct. 16 after being separated from his group.
Avery County Fire Marshal Paul Buchanan explained that the group left the area to reach cell service so they could call for help, during which the missing hiker found his way back to the parking lot and hitchhiked to the Citgo gas station and Linville Mart nearby.
Buchanan received a tip that the hiker may be at the Linville Mart as a search party was preparing to comb the woods for the hiker.
“Sure enough, he was sitting there staying warm,” Buchanan said.
Upon confirming the correct man had been found, he was reunited with his group and the call was cancelled.
“We were actually getting ready to hit the woods to try to locate him,” Buchanan said.
Linville and Banner Elk volunteer fire departments, Linville Central Rescue Squad, Avery County Fire Marshal’s Office and Avery County Sheriff’s Office all responded to the call.