Alaska adventurer Cody Roman Dial, feared missing in Costa Rica's rugged Corcovado National Park, was apparently seen in a hostel in that country six days ago.
The news comes from his father, Alaska Pacific University Professor Roman Dial, who is now in the Latin American country searching for his son.
Peggy Dial, Cody's mom, was too distraught to talk on Sunday, but indicated it should now be reported that Cody is no longer missing. In a Saturday post on Roman's Facebook page, she reported, "Good News! Cody Roman was seen on the 21st and Roman is following confusing leads! Getting closer to our boy!"
Costa Rican officials Friday revealed to The Tico Times, an English language newspaper based in Costa Rica, that a search was underway for the younger Dial in the Corcovado National Park.
"Park rangers and a Red Cross rescue team are now searching for 27-year-old Alaska native Cody Dial, who goes by his middle name Roman and who is believed to have entered the park on July 10,'' the newspaper said. "Taking time off from pursuing his master’s degree in environmental science, Dial had been traveling through Mexico and Central America since January, according to Dial’s father — also named Roman Dial. Dial’s father received an email from his son the day before the young man planned to enter Corcovado on July 15, but has not heard from him since."
The status of the search in light of the new information is unclear.
The report that Roman Jr. -- or R2 as many know him -- had gone missing rippled widely across the small pond of Alaska outdoor adventurers. The Dials are famous in those circles.
Roman Sr. has long been involved with the respected Alaska Wilderness Studies program at Alaska Pacific University and has over the years led hundreds of students on trips across the wilds of Alaska.
A National Geographic Expeditions expert, he has traveled not only all over Alaska, but all over the world. His "800-mile mountain bike traverse of the Alaska Range was featured in the May 1997 issue of National Geographic magazine, his 'canopy trek' through Australia in the March 2003 issue, and his expedition to find Borneo's tallest tropical tree in the July 2006 issue," the society notes on its website.
R2 grew up with his parents in a world of Alaska wilderness adventure and became a capable woodsman in his own right. He is the youngest finisher ever in the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic. He was 17 in 2004 when he completed the competition on the Eureka Summit-to-Talkeetna route.
The Classic is a point-to-point race so primitive and difficult most people are afraid to enter. The race course is moved every three years so no one can become too familiar with the route. Only 13 people showed up to race last year along a brutal route from Thompson Pass through the Wrangell Mountains to the Lakina River Bridge on the McCarthy Highway. Only five finished.
Most race competitors are friends of R2 and are hoping those skills serve him well in Costa Rica.
Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com