HIKER'S NEVADA TREK GOING WELL, FRIEND SAYS.Byline: Jim Skeen Daily News Staff Writer
A Palmdale man backpacking through Nevada was reported in good spirits Adv. 1. in good spirits - without losing equilibrium; "she took all his criticism in stride"
in stride 140 miles into his journey to verify a possible escape route the ill-fated Donner Party Donner Party, group of emigrants to California who in the winter of 1846–47 met with one of the most famous tragedies in Western history. The California-bound families were mostly from Illinois and Iowa, and most prominent among them were the two Donner could have used 150 years ago.
On Tuesday, Lee Bergthold was at Middle Gate, a tiny central Nevada mining town near Highways 121 and 60, said friend Mike Babcock.
``He sounds real good,'' said Babcock, who Bergthold called from a pay telephone outside a store in the town.
Bergthold, 61, left Battle Mountain, Nevada Battle Mountain is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Lander County, Nevada, United States. The population was 2,871 at the 2000 census. Though it has no legal status as a municipality, it still functions as the county seat of Lander County , on Dec. 23 for a 350-mile journey from Nevada to Death Valley.
Bergthold, a photojournalism instructor at Antelope Valley College Antelope Valley College is a comprehensive community college located in Lancaster, California, USA. It is operated by the Antelope Valley Community College District, with a primary service area of 1,945 square miles covering portions of Los Angeles and Kern counties. and former Marine Corps survival instructor, is an inveterate inveterate /in·vet·er·ate/ (-vet´er-at) confirmed and chronic; long-established and difficult to cure.
1. Firmly and long established; deep-rooted.
2. wilderness traveler. He spends about 50 to 60 days a year in the backcountry back·coun·try
A sparsely inhabited rural region. , and his previous expeditions include a cross-country trek between the highest and lowest points in the continental United States United States territory, including the adjacent territorial waters, located within North America between Canada and Mexico. Also called CONUS. : Death Valley's Badwater to Mt. Whitney.
Bergthold is being accompanied on the first part of the trip by Tina Bowers, an Antelope Valley photographer. The two hikers have encountered up to a foot of snow during parts of their trek and mud bogs in other portions. Temperatures at night have dropped below zero, Babcock said.
``Weather conditions knocked him two days off his schedule,'' Babcock said. ``It took two days to get to the first day's objective.''
Bergthold is looking to make up time by hiking an additional hour each day, Babcock said.
On this trek, Bergthold will first travel from Battle Mountain to Walker Lake Basin - a path taken by emigrants in the mid-1800s. At Walker Lake Basin, pioneers, including the ill-fated Donner Party, went west to the Sierras.
The Donner Party of 87 men, women and children were caught by heavy snows in November 1846 at a mountain pass near Truckee. Blocked by snow, the Donner settled at a nearby lake for the winter. Thirty-four members of the Donner Party died in the Sierras. The survivors resorted to eating flesh of the dead.
At Walker Lake Basin, Bergthold is heading south to Death Valley - a route he believes the Donner Party could have used to avoid the harsh conditions of the Sierras.
Bergthold is backpacking with a 10-day supply of food. Support workers will drop off supplies every 10 days. Bergthold chose to hike in winter because of possible rain and snow which could provide water.
Photo: (Ran in AV Edition only) Lee Bergthold, shown in an undated un·dat·ed
1. Not marked with or showing a date: an undated letter; an undated portrait.
2. photo, is tracing a possible route the Donner Party could have used to make it through Nevada in 1846.