By July of 1848, Hulin had moved to the gold mines of Northern California. From there he made his way to San Francisco where he booked passage back to Oregon on the schooner Hackstaff. For the first eight days of the voyage, the Hackstaff experienced strong winds and heavy seas that slowed its progress. Running short of water, Capt. William White decided to stop at the Rogue River to fill-up. The schooner ran aground as it made a run for the estuary. Hopelessly stuck on a sand bar, Lester and others aboard abandoned ship and began walking north. It took them 24 days to reach the Willamette settlements. By the time a salvage expedition got to the wreck, Indians had stripped the Hackstaff bare.
Sources: Walling, Albert G. Illustrated History of Lane County, Oregon. Portland, Oregon: A.G. Walling Publishing Company, 1884. 491-92.