April 13, 2012

Anza-Borrego     Photo: Rob Unreall

Hiker Disappears in California Desert

Man missing since Easter

Rescue crewsd are searching for a San Diego man who went missing on Sunday while exploring the caves at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. Guillermo Piño, 26, was camping with his family near the Arroyo Tapiado mud caves when he set off barefoot to explore one of the hundreds of caves in the park. Authorities say Piño is an experienced hiker, but he was not carrying water, food, a flashlight, or a cell phone at the time of his disappearance. "We don't know if he fell into an open part of a cave and is trapped underground or somehow wandered off or if he fell or started exploring a cave and became disoriented," said Jan Caldwell, a San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokesperson. There is a network of more than 22 caves at Anza-Borrego State Park, some up to 1,000 feet in length.


Read more at U-T San Diego

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Whooping Crane     Photo: Sasata/Wikimedia Commons

Texas to Buy Crane Habitat

Using spill settlement

Texas will use money from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement to preserve 80 acres of  whooping crane habitat on the Gulf Coast. According to the terms of a deal signed on Tuesday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will use $2 million from MOEX Offshore, a partner in the oil well, to acquire the land, which it plans to incorporate into Goose Island State Park. The department will buy the tract through the nonprofit Texas Nature Conservancy in order to avoid red tape that could potentially hold up the handover, which is set to be completed by the end of May. Texas is the first state to spend money from the settlement for coastal conservation.

Read more at the Washington Post

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Stormtrooper     Photo: Andres Rueda/Flickr

Stormtrooper Walks Across Australia

Raises money for charity

Australian Jacob French completed a nine-month trek across Australia from Perth to Sydney dressed as a Stormtrooper on Thursday. French, 21, began his Trooper Trek in July and pushed a cart some 3,000 miles, camping in the bush and raising $100,000 for the Starlight Children's Foundation along the way. He lost more than 26 pounds, wore out seven pairs of shoes and four sets of buggy tires, and endured 100-degree-plus days and six weeks of rain and hail in the suit. He wore a version of the Stormtrooper costume in a Melbourne half marathon before the trek. Despite hiking more than ten hours a day five days a week, French says he doesn't actually enjoy walking.   

Read more at MSN

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The North Pole     Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

Explorer Crashes North Pole Wedding

Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland married in Arctic

British adventurer Mark Wood said he was surprised to find a wedding taking place when he reached the North Pole on Wednesday. Wood "crashed" the wedding of Norweigan explorer Børge Ousland, who invited Wood to join the festivities and have a celebratory drink. Ousland, whose achievements include the first unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica in 1997 and the first wintertime trek to the North Pole with Mike Horn in 2006, flew in by helicopter with about 20 people for the ceremony. Wood's arrival in the North Pole marked the end of his expedition to ski solo and unaided to both poles.

Read more at BBC

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