GARFIELD COUNTY , UTAH – A Maine woman was rescued Saturday after she was stranded for four days in a remote area of the Utah desert without food in what authorities call "truly a miraculous survival," Fox 13 reports.
59-year-old Victoria Grover was only planning on taking a short day hike while on a trip to Garfield County, Utah Tuesday, but when she did not make it back to her car before dark she decided to spend the night camping in the desert.
When Grover began the hike back in the morning, she landed wrong when jumping off a four-foot ledge and broke her leg above the ankle.
“I was working my way back to the trail head and I jumped about three or four feet and there was a rock under the sand, it hit my leg and I had a broken leg,” Grover told Fox 13.
Grover, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, was able to create a splint from her walking stick and crawled to a nearby creek for water.
The veteran outdoor enthusiast survived by sleeping in shade during the day and staying awake while curled up in a poncho at night. The poncho helped save her life by serving as a wind breaker, she said, adding it was the only extra warm clothing she carried.
"The hunger is something that comes in waves. You get hungry and want to eat everything and then it goes away," Grover told The Associated Press. "The worst thing is the cold. It never warmed up except for a few hours in the afternoon."
Grover said the hardest night was the last one before she was rescued, as she believes she began to suffer from hypothermia.
“I certainly could have died out there because I had hypothermia and I stopped shivering,” Grover told Fox 13. “I had faith I would be found and I also by that point, I was at peace, that whatever happened would be okay.”
The Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch, where Grover was staying, called authorities Thursday when she failed to check-out as scheduled. Police were able to track her car using her rental car agreement, and eventually found her Sunday morning.
Grover is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days for treatment for her broken leg and exposure. She finally got to enjoy her first meal Sunday night.
"Before that, I was dreaming of oranges, which is one of my favorite foods," she said. "But there are people who can go for weeks and weeks without food in this world. We have it easy in America."
Grover says despite her ordeal, she has no plans to stop hiking.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.