By Bill Lindelof
A retired state employee today will again thank the CHP helicopter crew that found him after he became lost last summer in mountainous back country of Placer County.
Jim Clevenger, former division chief in the Secretary of State's office, was hiking with friends July 3 at Sailor Bar in Placer County when he became separated from his group. Hiking alone, he became disoriented and lost.
With a bum leg and dehydrated, he was unable to continue. He was stuck in a remote part of New York Canyon.
The rest of his party, on their return to camp, called authorities and the Placer County Sheriff's Department asked for help from the California Highway Patrol Air Operations unit.
The chopper took to the skies July 4, but had to terminate the search at nightfall.
On July 5, the helicopter crew - officers Dan Lewis and Greg Norgard - spotted Clevenger in the New York Canyon area, about a mile from his campsite.
The chopper negotiated the tight canyon area and used its lift equipment to hoist Clevenger to safety. Clevenger was treated for his leg injury and dehydration.
Today, half a year later, he will re-unite with the two officers in the air unit's training room in Auburn and thank them for saving his life.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.