SANTA CRUZ -- A Fremont third-grade teacher described as an experienced hiker failed to return home Sunday from a backpacking trip in the Sierras.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks officials issued a missing person alert Tuesday for Gregory Muck, 46, who lives in Santa Cruz.
A Fremont Unified School District site lists Muck as a teacher at Gomes Elementary School, where classes will start Aug. 27.
His wife, Shannon Muck, who has been waiting by the phone anxiously with the couple's 5-year-old daughter Delphina, said she is doing OK. Her husband's rare divergence from his schedule has made her nervous, she said.
"He's been doing it for 19 years, and he's not been delayed before, except for one time when his friend sprained his ankle. He went out on the 10th of August and was supposed to return on the 17th and has yet to return," Shannon Muck said. "We have a 5-year-old, and he used to go out for two weeks, but now he only goes out for one, because he doesn't want to be away from her or me."
Gregory Muck graduated from UC Santa Cruz a year ago and completed his first year of teaching in May. Shannon Muck said, "crazier things have happened," but she does not believe that he would vanish on purpose, just as he is settling into his new career.
Park officials are asking anyone who may have seen Muck between Aug. 10 and 17 in Kings Canyon National Park to contact park services at 559-565-3118, or 888-677-2746, and to leave a name, contact information and additional details. Muck's backpacking itinerary, according to park officials, was to start from Roads End in Cedar Grove to Gardiner Basin, via Gardiner Pass. After several days, he was due to travel out Gardiner Creek and through Woods Creek, to Roads End in Cedar Grove.
Muck was last seen sporting a bushy beard, and wearing a bright blue shirt, green wool pants, black boots and a blue bandanna. His pack is a red internal frame pack with a blue tarp or possible orange tent. He also may have fishing gear.
"The search and rescue has just been phenomenal. They have someone that I can call at any time and contact with questions. They're very thorough, very professional and warm, and just amazing, for sure," Shannon Muck said of park officials she is working with to find her husband.