Thursday, May 29, 2014

Survival Stories: Hot, Thirsty and Lost in Death Valley - Article

Survival Stories: Hot, Thirsty and Lost in Death Valley


This article is about a mother, daughter and friend who decide to drive through Death Valley for a day of exploring. The family is from Pahrump, Nevada, just 60 miles from the entrance of Death Valley. The mother is familiar with the Valley but has never visited a part called the Racetrack, a dry lake bed where shifting boulders have left skid marks in the mud. The mother hadn't planned to visit this part of Death Valley but noticed a sign and followed it on an impulse. They became lost driving down a dirt road and were never able to gain their bearings. A GPS is pretty well useless in Death Valley since most of the dirt roads are unnamed. The mother drove the car until they ran out of gas, which fortunately died near some locked up trailers. The temperature was over 125 degrees and they had only brought 4 bottles of water. Fortunately, the trailers had some supplies and water. They were rescued by a helicopter search team that had been dispatched after her husband contacted authorities, 3 days after they left home. He had been away visiting and didn't know how long she had been missing. He was smart and checked the last usage of her credit card, which flagged an admission charge to a part of Death Valley.

I was interested in reading this article because I'm suppose to visit Death Valley this summer with my family. I learned several things from the article. First, you should bring several bottles of water per person if you are going to travel in such harsh climates. Second, never take such a trip without first planning your route; a map is better to bring since you can't trust a GPS. Third, don't leave your vehicle without having another source of shade available. Finally, ensure you inform someone of your plans and your scheduled return time so that they can alert authorities. The part I didn't like about the article is that the mother says that she was confident all along that no harm would come to them. She doesn't recognize that it's pure luck that she lived. If she had not come across that trailer that had limited water and food and if her husband had not alerted authorities, she and the two girls would have died. She is too cocky and doesn't seem to have learned from the experience.

Miller, Kenneth. "Survival Stories: Hot, Thirsty, and Lost in Death Valley | Reader's Digest."Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest Magazine, 1 Sept. 2012. Web. 29 May 2014. <>.

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