Hike Becomes Quest to Find Writer of Decades-Old Letter

Dina Abou Salem
Hike Becomes Quest to Find Writer of Decades-Old Letter (ABC News)

Reported By Dina Abou Salem:

A regular trek in California's Sequoia National Park took an unexpected turn with the discovery of a 40-year-old note lodged inside a canister.

On Sept. 8, Oakland resident Larry Wright, his son Aaron, and grandson Skyler were part of a larger group on an 11- day hike near Milestone Mountain.

"We climbed this peak in order to see a lake, but there was this hump below us which blocked our view. So we decided to go down a few feet to see the lake and that's when I saw, completely by chance, a rusty canister," Larry Wright told ABC News.

Wright threw away the canister but held on to what he believed was its valuable content. "The canister was possibly for a Kodak film and had a metal screw. It was almost entirely buried in soil," said Wright.

Inside the canister was a note, in mint condition, written by 13-year-old Tim Taylor in 1971. It read: "Tim Taylor climbed to this peak, Thursday, August 17, 1972. Age 13 years. Anyone finding this note please write."

Taylor's address pointed to a home in La Canada Flintridge, built in 1954.

"I checked if Tim was still at this address, but it seems he is no longer there," said Wright. The owners of the house had changed two or three times since Tim Taylor lived there with his family, reported La Canada Valley Sun.

Wright, who is an avid hiker, had been on this route almost six times. "The first time I have been in this area was in 1979, five years after Tim left the note," Wright said.

Ever since he came back from the hike, Wright and his wife, Candy Wright, began a quest to find Tim Taylor. "It would be interesting to talk to him [Taylor]. We both traveled this trail, which is way in backcountry. It's a stroke of luck that I found the note, and I am just responding to what he wanted," said Wright, who believes the canister must have shifted location over the years.

"I tried to find Tim Taylor on Google, and I contacted a local newspaper, thinking they might be interested in spreading the word about the note and its writer," Candy Wright told ABC News, who believes that Taylor, who would now be about 53 years old, might have tried to contact the local newspaper today.

"If he is trying to reach me about the note, he can definitely either call or write me," said Larry Wright.