By Becky Pearce
A Piedmont teen, inspired by the television show “Into the Wild” decided to test himself against the wilderness in Oregon and has disappeared leaving his family and friends worried sick.
“Into the Wild” a movie made in 2007, is based on the true story of Chris McCandless, who died of starvation at the age of 23 after he ventured into the Alaskan wilderness with little food and equipment.
Dustin Self, 19 left in mid-March for the Oregon wilderness heading for the Klamath Falls – Ashland area which is located in the remote and rugged country of southeastern Oregon.
According to sources, he wanted to live in the wild and eat berries for survival. It has been reported he also wanted to investigate two churches in Oregon, one in Portland and the other in Ashland, which practice a South American religion that uses a hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament.
Self’s parents, who tried to dissuade their son from venturing into the wilderness, last heard from him on March 15 when he called to tell them he was lost.
He reportedly called from the parking lot of a motel in northern Nevada where he apparently spent the night in the cab of his truck.
The following day, Self made a call to his girlfriend in Austin, Tex. to say he was lost after his GPS had sent him in the wrong direction. At that time he was located on a road on the east side of the Steens Mountain in the high desert of Oregon.
Self’s parents placed a call to the Harney County Sheriff’s Office on March 17. A search was conducted along the route from Fields to Lakeview however no trace was found of the missing Piedmont teen.
A pickup truck belonging to Self was later found by a rancher on Stone House Road located on the northeast flank of Steens Mountain, approximately two-and-one-half miles west of the Fields Denio Road. It appeared the pickup had slid off the back country track and was stuck. Read more →