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Author Behind 'Message in a Bottle' Left on Mountain Top Finally Tracked Down 40 Years Later

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"You're not going to believe this, but you're on the front page of the newspaper."

(Photo: KTLA)

In August of 1972, 13-year-old Tim Taylor left a handwritten note in a film canister while hiking near Milestone Mountain in Sequoia National Park.  Stating his name, age, and the height of the peak, he asked the recipient to "please write," leaving his complete address.

Roughly 40 years later, in early September, 69-year-old Larry Wright found the canister while hiking with his son and grandson.  The grandfather decided it would be fun to see if they could track the man down, but after one month, they still had no luck.

"I had my 14-year-old grandson with me," Wright explained to the Los Angeles Times. "If he wrote a note like that, he'd be interested to have somebody respond decades later."

KTLA has more on the story, including an interview with Taylor:

But then the pair caught a break. Yahoo News continues:

There were no voter registration records, and people from Taylor's old city didn't know where he had moved to. But then [California paper] La Cañada Online ran the story. Soon enough, word reached the mysterious Taylor.

Taylor told the paper, "One of my dad's old cronies called me Saturday, and he says, 'You're not going to believe this, but you're on the front page of the newspaper.' All my old compatriots from La Cañada have been in touch." Taylor now serves as a Superior Court judge in San Diego County.

Taylor and Wright spoke with La Cañada Online about their unusual connection. Taylor explained that he left the note while he was hiking with his Boy Scout troop. It was a habit he'd picked up thanks to his father. "Whenever [my family] would go to Catalina, my dad would have us put a note in a bottle," he said. "It's kind of the same idea." Taylor chose the location because it appeared that nobody had ever set foot on it before. Plus, according to the map provided to him by the Boy Scouts, the peak was unnamed.

Taylor joked that because the peak is still unnamed forty years later, Wright and his family may have been the only people after him so far to climb that particular peak.

He concluded: "Maybe we can name it the Taylor-Wright Peak—after the first two people to climb it."

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