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Missing Bend teen turns up safe in Nepal


A 19-year-old Bend teen traveling the world brought great relief to his family and friends early Monday, checking in from Nepal to report he was okay and working to help others in the wake of a devastating earthquake.

Joshua Edwards “contacted us at 6:15 a.m. today alive and well from Beni, Nepal!!!” his aunt, Susan Edwards of California, advised via Tweeter. “He needed to dodge a few landslides but okay. Full hearts this morning!”

According to a Facebook post, Edwards has been at a hot spring in Tatopani for the past few days and will be doing what he can to help amid the destruction wrought by the weekend’s 7.8-magnitude quake and numerous major aftershocks.

Previously,, John Edwards said he’d last heard from his son last Monday. He said he considered himself lucky to reach him, as limited and unstable Internet access in Nepal has made that difficult.

With a son like Josh, who seems to hike only where the phone lines barely exist, it’s something Edwards is used to.

But following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal in 80 years, the silence was deafening.

John Edwards is a sales manager for NewsChannel 21. He reached out to his work family to tell us about his own family, as he awaited word from his youngest son in the devastated nation.

According to John, as of a week ago, his son was near the Muktinah Temple, located in the Annapurna Conservation Area.

It’s part of his trek of the Annapurna Circuit, a path with mountain ranges as high as 26,000 feet in elevation. John said his son had just returned from Lam Jung, close to the epicenter of Saturday’s violent quake, where the death toll is about 3,000 and rising.

Rest is rare for Josh, who never stopped moving after graduating early from Summit High in December of 2013. He spent much of the last year hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail, where due to poor cell service his father would sometimes go weeks without word.

John says his son visited home for Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2014, but started the new year in Thailand. He then spent a few weeks in Laos before reaching Nepal.

He says when they last spoke Monday, Josh was taking a rest before continuing on the circuit, toward the village of Kagbeni.

John called it a surprise call, as Josh wasn’t expecting to find Internet access in Muktinath. He says the video was very fuzzy — he couldn’t really see Josh, but his son said he could see him.

Edwards said would never forget the conversation, in which Josh said: “Dad, there is unbelievable beauty here.”

The teen’s aunt, in California, had been sharing his barechested, smiling photo across social media, hoping that someone recognized him and lets his family know he’s OK.

And while tragedy and heartache for those hit by it remain, one Bend family is relieved that their loved one is OK — and not surprised at all to learn he’s pitching in to help others

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