Mom walks 26 miles through snow to get help for stranded family

With a sensational backdrop a pine stands guard on the Grand Canyon’s snowy South Rim just off the Rim Trail

Haase said that her sister needed to endure drinking her own urine and eating twigs when her supplies ran out. To keep herself warm, she 'rocked back and forth'.

Her husband, Kevin, became concerned when his wife didn't return. I did that last four miles 10 steps at a time.

Klein, her husband Eric Klein and Isaac, their 10-year old son was on a vacation. "Don't arrest me, '" Klein said, laughing. "But we didn't realize the Global Positioning System unit didn't tell us roads were closed or impassable". The family stalled out on a woodland street after they discovered State Route 67 toward the North Rim shut for the winter however looked for a substitute approach to achieve their goal, Driscoll said.

Heeding directions of their vehicle's GPS system, the got stuck on a national forest road amid heavy snowfall, the sheriff's statement said.

There was no civilization for miles, and the family couldn't get cell service. The nearby roads and visitor centers were closed, so she ended up walking nearly 30 miles in the snow without cell service or snow boots, and nothing to eat but a small pack of cereal. "Had she not been, she wouldn't have made it", Driscoll said. Her husband, who had hiked almost 15 miles uphill, was able to get phone service and alert the authorities to what had happened around 2:30 a.m. on December 24.

But the driver never came because the road was shutdown. "We were really beginning to think, especially with the snow coming in. we pulled out all the stops". She ate aspen twigs and did her best to stay awake in the freezing temperatures. "So she kept going". Her husband and son were also treated for exposure and later released. She had been hallucinating.

"I'm not ashamed to say that. I was focused on my priorities - what was important and what wasn't important". Klein eventually found an entrance station to the national park.

By Friday afternoon, Klein still hadn't returned. She had to break a window to gain entry.

Searchers on snowmobiles from Utah's Kane County Sheriff's Office and Arizona's Coconino County Sheriff's Office found an exhausted Karen on a bed inside the cabin later that day. She's likely to lose several toes to frostbite, but otherwise she's going to be fine.

Klein told NBC that constant thoughts of her family gave her the will to survive.

In hindsight, Klein said with a chuckle the family should have planned a trip to Walt Disney World. "If I lose a few toes, in the grand scheme of things, they're just toes".

"I do believe that she would like to go back to actually see it, but I can guarantee you she won't go in the winter", she said. "However anyone else would like to describe it is cool, too".

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