After spending 17 days alone in the Twin Lakes region, a 69-year-old man from Roseburg, Oregon, was discovered alive.

After failing to come home after a camping trip in the Toketee region on the evening of May 7, Harry Burleigh was reported missing by his wife, Stacy.

On the morning of May 8, search and rescue personnel from outside the region began looking for Burleigh. They discovered his car on a lower trailhead leading into Twin Lakes and concluded that the fisherman attempted to walk to Twin Lakes to fish before returning home.

In the hopes that he would locate them, his anxious wife prepared signs and put food along the routes.

They got a major break on May 16 when searchers discovered a tackle box and improvised shelter.

“They left him a note and lighter and told him to make a fire and they would be back in to get him tomorrow,” Stacey wrote on Facebook. “It took the team another 6 hours to get out.”

Rescuers uncovered a second improvised shelter southwest of the first one a week later, on May 23. Burleigh replied when the search workers called out to him. He was discovered walking and complaining of slight discomfort, but he appeared to be in good health.

Burleigh was taken to the hospital for evaluation and was reunited with his family later that evening.

“This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brad O’Dell. “The Sheriff’s Office wants to thank everyone who was involved in this mission.”

Temperatures in the area dropped into the 20s, and it even snowed, according to O’Dell.

“He told the searchers yesterday that he kept doing this ‘one day at a time, one step at a time,’ for love for his family and everything else,” O’Dell said. “So that mindset, that winning mindset, I think played a big role.”

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