A woman and her dog became lost in a Washington state park and had to survive in the woods for six days until they were rescued Sunday.
Sajean Geer, 71, was walking her dog Yoda, a terrier-Chihuahua, at the Olympic National Park in Port Angeles on Monday, July 17, to spread her husband’s ashes in the area, according to the Peninsula Daily News. She already spread a few of his ashes on Hawaii’s Kona coast following his death in December.
“I was just going to go in for a short walk and find a nice place with flowers to scatter his ashes,” Geer told Peninsula Daily News. “I scattered his ashes and everything went fine, but I couldn’t find my way back to the road.”
Geer said she became lost after she could not find the main road. She found a log to sleep under for the night. The next day she again was unable find her way again and had to seek shelter for the evening.
“It was (July) 19th in the morning when I woke up and I realized I had to acknowledge that I’m lost and I had made some not very good decisions,” Geer said.
Geer, who is a trained hiker, was able to find water, build a shelter and survive on bugs and pine needles for the time being. Yoda was able to survive on bugs and water.
“This ant was biting me and I said well I have a bigger mouth; I’m going to eat you,” Geer said. “So I grabbed the ant and ate him.”
A park ranger discovered Geer’s car on the road and notified authorities of the vehicle. Geer had been reported missing by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, July 19.
Geer said she discovered a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flying over her Sunday but did not think it spotted her until it came back.
“I thought, ‘boy this one is staying around,’” she said. “But I could tell they couldn’t see me.”
Geer climbed on a log and signaled to the chopper, which rescued her and Yoda.
“When I saw that first rescuer I just ran up and hugged him,” Geer said. “I was so happy to see him.”
Geer said the experience helped her appreciate the small things that society takes for granted, such as running water.