On December 22, the Kline family was on their way to the Grand Canyon National Park for their holiday vacation. But things didn’t go as planned when they came across State Road 67, a portion of the highway that was closed for the winter. That’s when their GPS redirected them through forest service roads.
The family tried making their way along the snow-covered winding roads, but soon gave up. But as they tried to turn their car around, it landed in a ditch. They tried desperately to free their vehicle, but mud clung to it, keeping it immobilized.
With no sign of life in sight and snow falling fast, Karen, a triathlete with several wilderness survival courses under her belt, decided to make the journey down to a nearby highway.
When she got there, she made a horrifying discovery: it was closed! She knew she had to save herself and her family, so she continued marching forward through the blistering cold toward the park entrance.
Night crept over the park. Her husband, Eric, and 10-year-old son hadn’t seen or heard from her since she’d left. By Friday afternoon, Eric decided they couldn’t stay in the car any longer. The pair climbed to higher ground and finally were able to get enough signal to call for help.
Meanwhile, Karen, exhausted and hypothermic, pushed herself forward over 26 miles without food and water, fueling herself on pine sprigs and her own urine. According to ABC Action News, at one point during her remarkable journey, a piece of ice became lodged in her shoe. She took it off to shake it out, but then couldn’t get it back on her foot.
She continued the next four miles without it. The only thought pressing her onward was “This isn’t how my life is supposed to end. My son needs his mother, my husband needs his wife. I’m not letting my mother bury me. I can’t let this happen.”
After a 30-hour journey, the 46-year-old mom found a guard shack to take shelter in. She was barely conscious when she was discovered in the wee hours of the morning.
Though frostbite caused her to lose several toes, she and her family were reunited and were treated for exposure to the cold. If you were amazed by this mom’s determination, please SHARE Karen’s incredible story.
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