I like to share with others people who I admire. This week I must send out a shout out to a 72-year-old Tucson woman who survived 9 days out in the desert wilderness! Ann Rodgers, survivalist and yes 72, got lost in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona after her hybrid car ran out of gas and electrical power. She had been traveling to her children’s home on Phoenix along with her dog Queenie.
Ann is retired military and has taken a survival class here and there. It is not really sure how she got lost in back country near Canyon Creek on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.
This story could have ended very badly. I am so glad it had a happy ending. Most of you know that I love to hike and this story just proves that it pays to be prepared! Kudos to Ann! Her survival skills is what made this story have that happy ending! Having some basic survival food and items with her and in her car helped her live. Her car was discovered three days after a search began, but rescue crews struggled to find her.
She had food and water survival gear in her car but ran out after a few days. When asked how she survived she responded that she ate desert plants and drank pond water. Her dog kept diving into clover and survived on that. She kept busy climbing up and down the mountain range attempting to find cell phone service at the top of the ridges. Unfortunately she was never able to and eventually her phone battery went dead. If she couldn’t walk, she crawled! As the time drew on she thought about what happened if she did die. All she could think about was “All right, if this is the end — if this is it — at least I’m going to die in the most natural beautiful cathedral I have been in a long time.”
Ann found old animal bones, rocks and sticks and spelled out HELP on the ground. She also started a signal fire. After her dog was found April 9th and that narrowed the search. It was not long after that a helicopter noticed the HELP. Ann was waving at the helicopter as it landed to rescue her.
The initial rescuer told her they expected to find her dead. All she could do was cry. She was very excited to get a helicopter ride. She was a little malnourished and dehydrated but recovered quickly. Learn more about her story at:http://www.azfamily.com/story/31706198/tucson-woman-and-her-dog-rescued-after-9-days-in-wilderness
If you hear of hometown hero or special person, please let me know. I would love to share their story.
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Make It A Great Life
Cassie Gannis – Race Car Driver, Animal Lover