The Missing Boys of Slushy Meadows.
I made the hike in to Slushy Meadows also known as Barton Flats many times while i was in Boy Scouts and always enjoyed the adventure....But for a few boys it seems, the adventure was extremely different than mine.
Slushy Meadows in Barton Flats is a high attitude camping area on the north face of Mt San Gorgerino Mountain at about 8500 feet in elevation....When I was a Boy Scout it was an area that was just becoming popular. In the winter time it is an area that receives more snow and the daytime temperatures and overnight lows are always in the extremes....The last time I was there, it snowed in July, but we were dressed for it, but still froze as we slept in our tents with just sleeping bags to keep us warm.
Imagine then what could happen to a small boy if he were to get lost....The meadows area is aptly named...it is very moist, Kentucky Blue grass grows high and the forest has never been logged or thinned....It is a true old forest area of Southern California.
It seems that about every dozen or so years a young child goes missing on the mountain....they are never found....It is almost like the forest just swallows them up....Or is there something more sinister at work here on the north face of Old Baldy Camp.....Are animals taking the boys for food....We were always warned to watch out for Bears and Mt Lions....Could a bear take a boy, snatch him way from a camp ground within sight of his parents camper.
Or is it the mountain...There are huge avalanche chutes in the area....These are areas that avalanches sweep down each year after heavy snow fall and then rising temperatures occur.....Is it possible for the boys to disappear in the quicksand like meadows.....We were always warned to stay away from the deep grassy areas....They were like swamps they were so thick....The forest is thick having never been logged or thinned, nor fire ravaged.
Could a deranged person be at fault....this gives rise to all sorts of urban myths....Big Foot, the one armed killer, cannibals, and other freaks of nature are all named as possible reasons for the missing boys.....But what is the truth? No one knows and that is the true mystery.
Over the past 35 years 3 boys have gone missing in the Slushy Meadows area....For a camp area high in the mountains in an area that has a total population of perhaps 500 in the summer time and less in the winter, the odds are out of proportion to the area.
Personally since I have been to the area, I think it is the mountain that takes the boys....But then again, why is it only boys, never girls....Is it something as simple as curiosity of little boys and wandering away from camp....Remember the saying...Curiosity Killed the cat....Perhaps it should be here that too much Curiosity killed the boys....Since none of them has ever been found, no one will ever know.
Gary Hall the ghostpainter