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This Grandmother Survived Nine Days Lost In the Desert

A road trip to visit grandkids turns into a test of survival skills

By Bryce Kirchoff

At Next Avenue, we often share stories about the under-appreciated abilities of older Americans and the benefits of animal companionship, but this one has them all beat.

When 72-year-old Anne Rodgers set off on a road trip with her dog and cat on March 31, she never would have guessed what was in store for her. On her way to Phoenix to visit her grandchildren, Rodgers ran out of gas. She ventured into the desert with Queenie, her canine companion, to get better cell phone reception. Unfortunately, Rodgers got lost and was unable to find her way back to her vehicle. Within two days, officials found her car and launched a full-scale search.

It was not until April 9 that Rodgers was found; she'd been living on pond water and plants for the duration of her time in the wilderness. When asked how she managed to survive, Rodgers said: “Age doesn’t mean inability; it can mean wisdom.”


Bryce Kirchoff has produced web and social media campaigns for organizations at all levels of the media industry and also has experience launching community engagement initiatives, building websites and crafting social campaigns. He holds a master’s of science degree in New Media Management from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and lives in Los Angeles. Read More
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