Buddhist monk’s head-clearing walk in Arizona becomes overnight trek

Jul 11, 2023, 8:00 AM

A head-clearing walk over the weekend turned into a 20-mile, overnight ordeal for a Buddhist monk i...

(Pexels Stock Photo)

(Pexels Stock Photo)

PHOENIX — A head-clearing walk over the weekend turned into a 20-mile, overnight trek for a Buddhist monk in northern Arizona, authorities said.

The monk, who is from Tibet and doesn’t speak English, lives with his family at a Buddhist temple on Perkinsville Road in Chino Valley, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Monday.

Chino Valley is about 110 miles north of Phoenix, past Prescott.

The monk often hikes in the vicinity of the Garchen Buddhist Institute and is familiar with the area. But he left for a walk Saturday at 6 p.m. without his cellphone and hadn’t returned by Sunday morning, prompting his wife to make an overdue person report.

YCSO Forest Patrol and deputies started searching the area on foot, and a drone operator conducted an aerial search. As the day wore on, Prescott-area temperatures climbed into the low 90s.

At 3:15 p.m. Sunday, a woman called YCSO to report finding an Asian man in the desert near Perkinsville, about 20 miles from the Buddhist temple.

Deputies drove to the location and confirmed the man was the overdue monk. They took him to the Chino Valley Police Department for a medical check and found that his vitals were good but he was severely dehydrated.

The monk’s wife arrived to translate for him, and that’s when his motivation was revealed: “He just needed to take a very long walk to clear his head,” YCSO said in the release.

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Buddhist monk’s head-clearing walk in Arizona becomes overnight trek