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Author: Subject: Edward "Bud" Bernhard passes away
Barry A.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2007 at 07:51 PM
Edward "Bud" Bernhard passes away


It is with sadness that I report that I just received word from a contact in Coronado, CA that the pioneer explorer and hero of the San Pedro Martir range, and Picacho del Diablo in particular, EDWARD "BUD" BERNHARD has just passed away-------Bud had entered into Hospice a few days ago in San Diego, and passed very quickly of multible complications, mostly involving old age. He was about 84 years old.

With his passing we lose a legend, and I lose a good friend.

Barry

[Edited on 5-12-2007 by Barry A.]
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[*] posted on 5-11-2007 at 07:57 PM


With much condolances Barry for the loss of a friend.

Picacho del Diablo is a perfect view from the back of my Beach House. We'll say a little prayer for Bud next time we're down.




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[*] posted on 5-12-2007 at 06:57 AM


I am saddened that I missed meeting this man. I had hoped to be able to share the story and photos of our recent trip to Picacho with Bud. He will remain a true pioneer and legend to me.

My condolances to you Barry, and anyone else who was a friend to Bud Bernhard.




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[*] posted on 5-12-2007 at 08:46 AM


How very sad.

I only met him a few times in the early 1970's on some of the trips when the the San Diego Sierra Club still went to Baja. But, I was a little kid.

I know he and my dad went on some very interesting exploring trips in the early days. Maybe they are getting reacquainted and talking about "the good old days".....




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[*] posted on 5-12-2007 at 12:28 PM


Yep, that could quite a conversation between Myron and Bud!

My condolences Barry, he was quite the adventurer.
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[*] posted on 5-13-2007 at 03:36 PM


As long as we keep talking and thinking about the man, he lives forever!

Vaya Con Dios Bud!!!




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Barry A.
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[*] posted on 5-14-2007 at 02:28 PM


Thanks to all for your kind remarks about Bud, and my loss of a friend.

For those of you who are curious, there are several books that talk about "Bud's" exploits on Picacho del Diablo during the 50's and 60's (and beyond). The one I am familiar with, and is a very quick read, is "COMING HOME FROM DEVIL MOUNTAIN" by Eleanor Dart O'Bryon. This book is about Eleanor O'Bryon and Ogden Kellogg's climbing of Pichacho, their subsequent dilemma on the mountain, and their rescue (tho by many participants). "Bud" Bernhard's annoying persistance and independence, absolute refusal to give up, and super-human effort, undoutably saved their lives. Bud could easily have been a "mountain man" had he lived 120 years earlier----he was that tough!!

Tho never a "NOMAD", as far as I know, he certainly qualifies, and would have been a super worthy addition to this board.

I recommend the book for all interested in this devil of a mountain, and the man (IMHO) who most seriously persued it's conquest.

Barry

[Edited on 5-14-2007 by Barry A.]
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[*] posted on 5-14-2007 at 04:02 PM


Bajaandy- Sorry I couldn't get you over to see Bud before he died. I got the specific info as to where he was the day before he died. His condition was so bad, even a month ago, that any conversation would have been meaningless. That's when I tried last, he was ready to go off to the big mountain. Barry, I wonder if that was the same rescue he made of the Kellog family of La Jolla. That was a dramatic rescue he made in the mid '60s of a young couple lost somewhere on the mountain. The sheriff's rescue squadron,the mexicans and all others could not find them. He was able to figure out where they were just by having been there so often, he went right there and brought them out once they called him in. Because the family was/is so prominent, the papers were full of the story. The names are different, but the rescue sounds the same. Vince
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Barry A.
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[*] posted on 5-14-2007 at 04:11 PM


Vince------you are very right. I went back to the book and found the Kellogg name, and I think I have it right now, and I edited the original post above, and I just hope that I got it right this time. I am a little confused (as usual) as to which one was a "Kellogg"-----Eleanor or Ogden?

In any case, the rescue was dynamic, and so typical of Bud.

It was a dramatic, life-changing event for the couple, according to the book----a very close call.

Barry
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[*] posted on 5-14-2007 at 04:14 PM


Wow....that is too bad. A number of my friends growing up used to go the the San Pedro Martir with him to camp and hike. They always had great stories to share about his knowledge of the area. He was a living legend to them.....



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[*] posted on 5-14-2007 at 05:05 PM


Bud was also a tailgunner in WWII in one of those Flying Fortresses...at least that's what I was told.

[Edited on 5-15-2007 by Mexitron]
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[*] posted on 5-15-2007 at 09:58 AM
Bud


I never met Bud, but I had an older brother who worked for him in construction. I remember my brother telling me that Bud was a legend for his numerous rescues of people from the mountains of baja. I'm sure my brother had just repeated whispered rumors of events, and didn't know anything specific. What also impressed me about Bud, was that he was an INCREDIBLE brick mason! If you go around the houses of Coronado, almost any "custom" red-brick construction was personally done by him. The original Bulas'(now the Coronado Brewery) restaraunt down by the old ferry landing is an example. He was definitely one of a kind!
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[*] posted on 5-15-2007 at 10:40 AM


Vince,

It's obvious that our trip to Picacho del Diablo was simply to late to share with Bud. I honestly had no idea he was as close to the end as he was until I heard from you and from Barry. I had hoped that maybe sharing the story and photos of our climb would have given Bud a bit of a lift to remember some good times from the past. Looks like he had one last ascent to make before I could meet him.




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[*] posted on 5-15-2007 at 04:32 PM


Hi All,
Close friends of Bud are planning a reception in his honor over in Coronado on June 2. This will kick off an 8 day backpacking trip to the high country in memory of our good friend. In the spirit of Bud's fervent desire to share the beauty of the Sierra San Pedro Martir, ALL are invited to attend this trip.

More details are forthcoming but I thought I would put this out there as soon as possible for those who have the proper motivation!

Thanks For all your thoughts and comments, Rich V
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[*] posted on 6-2-2007 at 05:48 AM


We are leaving today for the Sierra San Pedro Martir to honor Bud. We will park at the gate on the road to Los Llanitos. We plan to visit Blue Bottle then wander south toward Tres Palomas, Horse Flats and La Encantada Meadow. Look for the Toyota Trucks parked at the gate!
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[*] posted on 6-2-2007 at 02:52 PM


Went to Bud's memorial today. Very well done by Rev. Steve Mather, who also grew up with Bud's experience. There were many old and new Baja friends, all the news clippings about the very heroic rescue he made of Eleanor Dart O'Bryon and Mr. Kellog. The latter sent a great note on his feelings and thoughts over the last 40 years pertaining to Bud. He really saved both of their lives when no one else could find them. Eleanor wrote a book in 1989 called "COMING HOME FROM DEVIL MOUNTAIN", published by Harbinger House. Great that Ringtailcat and others will be making the trip in his honor and memory. There are many brick chiminies and walls he left here in Coronado that will also honor his memory!
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[*] posted on 6-12-2007 at 11:43 AM


Hi everyone, we just got back from our trek.
We carried a portion of Buds ashes to Blue Bottle from Los Llanitos, luckily the chain gate was open this time. The springs were practically dry except for some nasty mosquito water that we double filtered. Because of this, we decided not to head to Horse Flats which was likely to be dry... Instead we walked to La Grulla Meadow via Rancho Viejo where we found good water along the way. After spending several days in La Grulla we crossed to La Encantada Meadow and eventually wandered back to the cars on the direct route back to Los Llanitos.

Beautiful weather and a great time!
BUD was definately stoked!

Note: The new fees at the gate are $4.00 per person, per day! We dropped around $140 to keep it legit! Maybe we will start walking from Oak Pasture or MR like Bud.
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[*] posted on 6-12-2007 at 04:45 PM


I was just talking with my brothers here in Coronado about Bud, today. They used to go diving with Bud in various places in the late '40's, all in Mexico. We agreed that Bud touched many lives in different ways and all will remember him. Now when I fly by the Baja mountains I can really know he is down there. Thanks for doing that, Ringtailcat.
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[*] posted on 6-12-2007 at 06:25 PM


That's awesome--We put some of Myron Smith's ashes, good friend of Bud's, up in the San Pedro in 2000...together in Baja again.
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[*] posted on 6-12-2007 at 06:35 PM
Bud Bernhard


I first met Bud Bernhard in the summer of 1973. He was leading a 7+ day Sierra San Pedro Martir trip for the Sierra Club and he was my ride down. I was a slightly "lost" 22 yr old looking for "something" and had first traveled Baja in 1969 on a trip from Puertocitos to Bahia Gonzaga and over to El Rosario. The chance to backpack this range seemed to be a once in a lifetime adventure so one morning Bud pulled up in front of the house I was living in in PB and picked me up. He was driving his old IH Scout and I really had no idea just who he was! We were driving down many days earlier to recon some trails. On the road in to the Melings he let me drive-I did not have a driver's license and barely knew HOW to drive. I distinctly remember him saying to me "Are you AIMING for those holes??????"

We visited with the Melings-he was like a son to the old folks-and I will always treasure seeing their moments of "platicando". From the ranch we headed off to the hills where we eventually left his Scout and took off on trails. I was not in the fittest of condition but was proud to be able to keep up with him-just barely. He walked very briskly and carried a light pack that contained his old white down bag and a zillion cans of what we call "canned" instant breakfast! Somewhere on that plateau his empty cans are buried!!! We spent several days hiking and I learned what a "Mexican Duck" was....I really thought it was a duck!!!! Was I clueless!!!!

Eventually we met up w the Sierra Club group and spent the next week hitting Alcatraz, La Grulla, the mission (my first of 3 trips to that mission site!), all over the place including a run up Blue Bottle and Tres Venados....geez, that was a loooong time ago. There was a spry "old" lady that was good friends w Bud-she was always hiking at the head of the line and man, nothing stopped her! Her name was Louise Werner, 75 yrs old, and if you read up you will find her in Camping & Climbing Baja California along w her husband in the 40s-50s w Bud. Little did I know at the time just how lucky I was to have met these oldtime Baja folks.

At the end of the trip Bud was asked to help w logistics up on Blue Bottle for the Labor Day radio disc jockey who was doing the Jerry Lewis Telethon-thing from the BIG one.....So I with him and some others w SAR carried radio transmitter stuff up BB while the disc jockey somehow got up La Encantada-that was another story!

I have a great picture of Bud, me and a bunch of others on the top of Blue Bottle or Tres Venados.....he is huddled there w his distinctive hat and looking uncomfortable w getting his picture taken. I will never forget this man because it was this trip with him that changed my life forever and initiated this addiction I have for Baja. He had stories to tell but yet was a very quiet man who had his own little world. He was not one into writing or staying in touch yet I would visit w him a time or two after that first trip as I headed across the border and he would caution me to be careful, he even gave me a shovel which I still have.....yet every year his Dec. 8 birthday cards would be returned to me as addressee unknown or other stuff.

He was famous for his "cement" work....and I am sure there are many Coronadoans with their own stories to tell. About 5 years ago I tried to find him but all I could hear was that he was living somewhere underneath the bridge and had lost the home he'd inherited from his mother. I will always treasure the memories of him and feel honored to have known him. Sometimes you can reach out with your heart and hands to a person and they still refuse to grasp it. Bud Bernhard had so much to offer and tell the world but I guess he didn't feel he was important enough to share. Thank you Bud for sharing the trail with me-It was the honor of a lifetime. You will live on in the stories I tell my sons of the wild and crazy Baja adventures that really took seed in the summer of 1973 when a man pulled up in front of the house in a Scout and I stepped in to another world. Vaya con dios, Bud!




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