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Hiker lost for days in Joshua Tree National Park is now home recuperating

October 4, 2010 |  6:23 pm

Ed Rosenthal, a Culver City real estate broker who was lost for six days in Joshua Tree National Park and wrote his final thoughts on his hiking hat, is home recuperating and plans to talk publicly about his experience in the wilderness for the first time  Tuesday morning.

“It’s quite a story,” said Jack Skelley, a friend in public relations who volunteered to act as a spokesman. “He really drew on his own strengths and fortitude to survive.”

Skelley, who hikes with Rosenthal, said his friend was sharp but still shaky.

The 64-year-old hiker had gone to the park to celebrate his role in the sale of a long-term lease for Clifton’s Brookdale, the 75-year-old restaurant in downtown Los Angeles that is decorated like a lodge in the redwoods. He wandered off a trail near Black Rock Campground and lost his way.

Out of water and food, Rosenthal hunkered down and waited for rescuers. Worried that he might not make it, the amateur poet started to write on his khaki hiking hat, creating a journal and scrawling messages to his wife, daughter and friends. He was discovered by rescuers in a helicopter flying over a remote canyon miles from where he started.

Skelley said Rosenthal, who will meet with the media at Clifton’s, plans to raise money for the search-and-rescue teams that looked for him.

-- John Hoeffel