Mom Hikes 26 Miles In The Snow To Save Her Stranded Family
Marilyn Caylor 3/3/2017
The western part of United States has many beautiful natural wonders and gorgeous national parks. The Grand Canyon is on a lot of people's list of "things to do before you die," and it was no different for 47-year-old Karen Klein and her family. They were on a well-deserved Christmas vacation out west, when something went terribly wrong.
Although it was supposed to be a fun trip to the Grand Canyon, one bad turn almost cost this family their lives. Karen probably never imagined that the "dying" part could actually happen before she even ticked the trip off her must-see list!
Arizona is home to a variety of climate zones, and the northern part of the state tends to get a lot of snow during the winter months. The roads along the Utah-Arizona border are quite desolate and remote. They're also not very well-traveled during the winter season.
Karen and her family had intended to drive from Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah to the Grand Canyon's north rim. Had they done a bit of research beforehand, they would have discovered that this part of the Grand Canyon is closed during the winter months due to the thick snow that blankets the region.
But, their GPS didn't know any better, and directed them to a little used forest service road. By the time the Klein's realized how deep the snow was, it was too late - their rental car had become stuck in a ditch!
The Klein's couldn't get a signal on their cell phone, and a tearful decision had to be made. Karen left her husband and son to begin the long and arduous hike towards the main road, which was 10 miles away. Now, Karen is a very slight woman at 5'4" and 105 pounds. One wouldn't think that someone so tiny could survive out alone in the wilderness all by herself. Especially without winter survival gear!
But, Karen was one tough cookie and managed to finally reach the main road. Only, she was horrified when she saw a sign indicating that it was closed due to the same snowstorm that caught them unawares. There would be no driving down this road, and no one to flag down for help.
However, the mother spotted a sign indicating that the Grand Canyon was only 14 miles away. To save her family, she had no choice but to continue hiking towards what she hoped was a quick rescue.
As you can imagine, the journey was quite dangerous. And in fact, it didn't take long for Karen to run out of food and water. Without a way to make a fire to melt the snow, she had no potable drinking water. However, this college professor had a secret up her sleeve - she had previously taken a survival training course!
Her training prepared her for the worst of this unplanned adventure. Although it wasn't pleasant, she managed to survive by eating pine tree twigs and drinking her own urine. That's a yucky thought for sure, but saving the life of your family takes precedence over creature comforts.
After hiking for over 26 miles and 30 hours through freezing snow, the mother and wife caught sight of an empty cabin. She broke a window and collapsed inside, exhausted from her ordeal.
Meanwhile, her husband Eric, who became concerned when his wife didn't come back, took matters into his own hands. He hiked to higher ground where he was able to get a cell phone signal to call for help. That set off a massive search and rescue effort, which thankfully ended up with Karen being found safe and sound.
Watch this video to find out more about this heroic mother's wilderness ordeal!
This tale of hope and survival is definitely a miracle. The things that people will do to save their loved ones is truly amazing. However, this is certainly a cautionary tale for those who depend on GPS navigation units too much - sometimes they can lead you astray!