The body of a Dallas hiker who went missing last week in New Mexico was found Monday outside Santa Fe.
Audrey Richman Kaplan went off, alone, to hunt mushrooms. She never came back. A longtime hiking buddy is mourning and says this is a cautionary tale.
Judy Allison has known Audrey Richman Kaplan for more than a decade. She describes her 75-year-old friend as strong-willed, intelligent, passionate about the arts and a great lover of the outdoors.
Allison is a veteran search and rescue volunteer. She says while her friend knew the area well, she didn’t always pack what she needed when she ventured into the mountains.
“The fact is that Audrey had been told many, many times by me and others that she dressed inappropriately and did not carry the appropriate gear for hiking in the mountains, so it wasn’t a surprise,” Allison says.
The search effort to find Kaplan was extraordinary. Allison was deeply involved.
“We searched every conceivable place,” says Allison. “It was over 300, maybe 350 people came out to volunteer to help and were all over those mountains looking for her.”
Kaplan’s husband Norman is a professor at UT Southwestern. He and his wife also have a home in Santa Fe.
Judy Allison says day hikers are the most likely to run into trouble in the mountains. She pleads with Texans, who are used to hot, predictable summer weather, to come to New Mexico prepared for tough conditions.