On a trip to visit her grandkids, one Arizona woman took a very long detour.
Ann Rodgers, 72, was spotted by a rescue helicopter on Saturday after she and her dog spent nine days alone in a desert area of the White River Apache Reservation.
“When that helicopter, that air rescue police copter landed, I just sat down and bawled,” Rodgers recalled to CBS on Tuesday. “Remarkable, remarkable, remarkable.”
The grandmother had gotten lost on her way to visit her grandchildren in Phoenix, and when her car ran out of gas, she and her dog went searching for help.
For nine days, they found nothing. Rodgers says there was no life around except for the desert plants she and her pet ate to survive. They hydrated themselves with water from a pond.
In the end, it was the dog who first got authorities’ attention. On April 9, a White River Tribal Game and Fish officer found the pooch. Soon afterward, a helicopter spotted the word “HELP!” on the ground, written by Rodgers in sticks and rocks. Rescuers then found Rodgers nearby.
On Tuesday, Rodgers said she felt well and was even planning to go on a (shorter) hike that afternoon. Asked by one NBC reporter if she still planned to visit her grandkids, she answered, “You better damn well believe it.”