South Carolina Governor To Return From Hike

(AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
After causing a controversy with his unexplained four-day absence, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford plans on returning to his office tomorrow, according to his communications director, Joel Sawyer.

Sanford left the governor's mansion Thursday in a black sports utility vehicle, leaving his destination unknown to many in government and his family. He also turned his cell phones off. His office revealed late Monday, however, that the governor has been hiking along the Appalachian Trail.

Sanford called to check in with his chief of staff this morning.

"It would be fair to say the governor was somewhat taken aback by all of the interest this trip has gotten," Sawyer said.

As of Monday, neither Sanford's office nor the State Law Enforcement Division had been able to reach the governor since he left Thursday, The State newspaper reported.

"It isn't unusual for the governor to be out of pocket for several days after the legislative session," Sawyer said in an earlier statement. "We knew he would be difficult to reach, and that he would be checking in infrequently."

The governor's wife, Jenny Sanford, told the Associated Press Monday that she did not know where the governor was but that she was not concerned about her husband's absence. She said he needed time apart from his children to write something.

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