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[whitespace] Lost Boys

Saratoga--For those who thought this posh Silicon Valley suburb had nothing to offer in the way of life-threatening adventure, consider that those Lincoln Navigators and Land Rovers aren't just for show. Last week, a teenage kid--picture early Matthew Broderick--went hiking with a couple of friends. The three left the road to explore a canyon, night fell, and the boys found themselves lost with nothing but T-shirts and a Bic lighter to protect them from the nighttime chill.

It's surprising to think that three kids could get so lost in Sanborn Canyon, at the end of Black Road, that they would eventually just stand still and call for help, drawing the attention of a neighborhood dog who barked just like Lassie would until its owner took a listen and called the fire department. Or that it would take rescue workers two hours to find them. But it did happen, on August 17, and everyone escaped unscathed.

It might have been a longer wait if not for the Bic lighter. "They could flick the lighter and we could pick up a glimmer of light," says Saratoga Fire Chief Ernie Kraule. "By voice you couldn't tell because of the echoing canyon." The dog owner who'd alerted the fire department in the first place wound up picking his way down a trail to where the boys were, rescuers in tow, and talking them down from a ridge where they'd gotten stuck.

"I guess the lesson there is to not go out unprepared," says Kraule, "and to plot your course. We might live in a very metropolitan area, but there are some pretty wild areas on the fringe."
Traci Hukill

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