A hiker took her dog hiking in the Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The dog got her lost, but also kept her alive.

The woman, Darlene Luckenbach of Santa Cruz, spent the first night snuggled with her dog for warmth, Ynez said.

Friday, she tried again to find her way out of the remote section of the park and was unable to. She found an abandoned shack and spent the night in it.

A search and rescue team combed the park until 3 a.m. Saturday looking for her after co-workers called the sheriff’s department worried that the woman hadn’t showed up for work.

Saturday morning, Luckenbach made her way to a house on Alba Road, which skirts the northern tip of the park, as the search was being renewed. “A lady there took her in, called us, fed her and gave her some warm clothes,” Ynez said. “She’s doing fine.”

Fall Creek is a fave among the local hiker elite, but I wouldn’t want to spend the night out there without, well, a dog.

Incidentally, the reporter on this news item is one Pete Carey, who put in a rare Saturday shift. Carey has been reporting for the Merc since the late ’60s and won the Pulitzer Prize for a mid-1980s series that exposed the financial misdeeds of the Ferdinand Marcos regime in the Philippines and led to his ouster. It’s cool to have news legends like Carey for co-workers.