AWOL SC Gov Takes a Hike

AWOL Sanford ditched security, family for days-long hike on the Appalachian Trail
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2009 4:27 AM CDT
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford fields questions during a news conference in Columbia. Sanford has been out of contact with state officials since Thursday.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain, file)
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(Newser) – South Carolina now has a rough idea where its missing governor is after several days of mystery that perplexed and infuriated lawmakers, AP reports. A spokesman said Mark Sanford—who ditched his security detail last Thursday and missed Father's Day with his family—has gone on a hike along the Appalachian Trail to "clear his head" after the legislative session. But aides still don't know exactly where he is.

Sanford's phones have been switched off and he hadn't told his family where he was going. State politicians slammed the governor for his "erratic" behavior, which left them wondering who was running the state. "I cannot take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts," fumed the state's lieutenant governor, who said Sanford hadn't put him in charge before vanishing.
(Read more South Carolina stories.)