Palo Alto neighborhood awaits return of couple found alive after nearly a week in Marin wilderness

The saga of Ian Irwin, 72, and Carole Kiparsky, 77, lost in the wilderness for so long that searchers thought they were no longer alive is nearly at an end. 

Word of their survival has created a buzz in the Palo Alto neighborhood where they live and the community is eagerly awaiting their return.

A neighborhood has decorated Irwin & Kiparsky home with signs to welcome them back from a Marin County hospital where they were being treated for injuries suffered after becoming lost in the wilderness in Inverness for eight days.

“When it was beyond a week I was very concerned about them,” said area resident Tom Stone. “It’s really a miracle, it’s really a miracle.

We caught up with Stone lives not far from Irwin and Kiparsky’s home as he strolled by to check out the decorations that will greet the couple when they eventually arrive. 

The Marin County Sheriff’s office, which led the search, said the couple who became trapped in thick foliage and likely survived by drinking from a puddle found where they were located.

A neighbor told us that Ian and Carole, two seasoned hikers who regularly traversed the forests in Inverness area, also ate ferns to survive and were discovered just three miles from their cabin in Inverness. 

The couple is known to be social with those in the neighborhood, so it’s perhaps no surprise that those in the community have outfitted their home in celebration of their arrival. 

“Palo Alto is very much that way. It’s always been that way for us too. We know our neighbors and they help us out in so many ways,” said neighbor Jenny Stone.

Irwin and Kiparsky’s son told KTVU Tuesday afternoon that he is eagerly awaiting his parents' return.

He also said that after they return home, he promised them 24-hours with family before even considering whether to publicly share their story.