Long-distance mountain biker Tomas Quinones initially thought the lump he saw near a dirt road in an extremely remote area of southern Oregon was a dead cow, one of several he had seen that week. If he had arrived at the scene much later, it would have been a dead human. Quinones, a Portland resident who works for a company that makes route-planning software for cyclists, soon realized that he had found a semiconscious, badly sunburned, and dehydrated man who had collapsed. "Once I got a better look at him, I could tell he was in deep trouble," Quinones tells the AP. There was no cellphone coverage in the high desert region of Lake County, but Quinones was able to summon help by pressing the SOS button on his GPS device. An ambulance turned up an hour later and picked up Gregory Randolph, a 73-year-old man who had collapsed after hiking 14 miles over four days with one of his dogs.
Police say Randolph had been exploring the area when his Jeep became stuck in a canyon. One of the two dogs he brought with him was rescued when he was, and the other was found near his Jeep two days later after police used an aircraft to locate the vehicle. Police say Randolph was incredibly lucky that Quinones, who was on a weeklong back-country trip, turned up when he did. Lake County has fewer than 8,000 people in an area almost the size of New Jersey and the road Randolph was found on only sees around one vehicle per week. "The real hero of the story is Mr. Quinones," a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy tells the Oregonian. Randolph, who was rescued July 18, spent several nights recovering in a hospital before returning home. (Read more uplifting news stories.)