Society

Reporter Cathy Frye Survives Wilderness Ordeal After Govt Shutdown Forces Her Out Of National Park

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An award-winning reporter is alive today after being lost in the desert for the better part of a week, when she and her husband were kicked out of a national park due to the government shutdown.

Cathy Frye, 43, a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and her husband Rick McFarland, 58, who is a photographer at the paper were hiking in Texas' Big Bend National Park, last week. It was the place where they were married and they returned to celebrate their anniversary.

But when the government lost its funding, the couple were told to leave the park on Oct. 1. Rather than cut short their anniversary trip, they moved to Big Bend Ranch State Park, which as a state-run park was unaffected by the shutdown.

And that’s when the trouble began.

Sometime on Wednesday, the couple realized that they were lost in the state park where they had never hiked before. They were carrying a minimal amount of food and water. But they pressed on, trying to get their bearings. They never did. On Friday, Frye (pictured) realized that she was too exhausted to continue.

“If I can’t make it, one of us has to,” Frye says she told her husband. “[It] was the most excruciating decision we had to make.”

McFarland continued for another day until he spotted the windshield of a truck in the distance.

But it still took another day for rescuers to locate Frye.

She was found naked, dehydrated and disoriented, bit otherwise uninjured.

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“She looked really weak when we found her,” Fernando Rincon, a member of the rescue team told ABC News. “She asked if her husband was alive and her reaction was very joyful once she was told he was OK.”

SOURCES: ABC News, KEYE TV