While rescuers were searching for Wendell Boydston, he was resting his twisted ankle overnight in Round Valley.
Sunday evening at about 7:30, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Cabazon Station received a call from his wife, Paula, that he was a missing hiker.
Boydston, 60, of La Quinta, had left early Sunday for a day hike from the tram to San Jacinto Peak. About 2 p.m., he sent a text message to Paula telling her “he had reached the San Jacinto Peak, he was going to rest and then return to the tram,” according to the Sheriff’s Department press release.
By 7:30 p.m., without further contact from Wendell, his wife notified the Sheriff’s Department that he was missing.
Deputies did find his vehicle at the Palm Springs Tramway parking lot, so a search for him was initiated. Besides the Sheriff’s Department, several agencies responded and were involved in the rescue effort, including State Park Rangers, Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, Riverside County Desert Search and Rescue, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit and employees of the Palm Springs Tramway.
During the night, they searched but did not find Boydston. Then about 10 a.m. Monday, he “approached rescue units near the top of the tram. Wendell had a sore, swollen ankle, but declined medical attention,” Sgt. Richard Beatty said in the release.
The press release indicated that Boydston was properly equipped for such a hike and an unexpected overnight stay.