Christmas 2006 was our usual, up early to open gifts. As the day progressed, we had Christmas dinner and planned a getaway. We went to Diamond Point area. My husband and children went target shooting, while I went to look for crystals.
As the sun was going down, I started out of the woods, only the dog ran off twice. I found myself stuck in the woods after dark. As the tears began to fill my eyes, I decided to get into survival mode. I thought the best thing was to stay calm.
I found a clearing by a tree that had roots as arms. I then stacked wood to make a cave-type sleeping area to keep warm as the temperature dropped. I also found a weapon (a stick) to protect against wild animals.
And if they came looking for me with a helicopter, I could wave my jacket with stripes.
I'm reminded of the Christmas story, the moon instead of the star to guide my way and the grass resembling the hay in the manger that I put in my cave bed.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of a horn, then realized I was headed in the right direction. They were looking for me.
I yelled but no one answered. I decided to leave the area and came upon a house. No one was home. I felt with my feet to stay on soft ground that had been driven on, which led to another home with Christmas lights. I was greeted by a big off-leash dog barking. As I stood still, a lady came to the door and asked me about being in the woods after dark.
I explained I was lost.
She invited me in, offered a piece of turkey and called my husband's cell phone. My son answered. I heard my husband over the phone yell to the rescuers (we found her!) The lady gave me a ride to the end of the road. I saw many vehicles coming down the mountain, of those looking for me.
My husband walked up to comfort me as the rescuers asked if I needed medical attention, besides water, from the estimated seven miles I walked down the mountain.
I was OK and happy to be united with my family.
On the way home, I heard my family's side of the story.
Thank you so much to Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad! We plan a donation with this year's income tax.