Hiker Lost in Wilderness for 6 Days Feels 'Like an Idiot'

Madeline Connelly and her dog Mogi were rescued Wednesday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2017 4:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Madeline Connelly feels "like an idiot." The 23-year-old Illinois native was rescued Wednesday after six days lost in the wilderness, KTMF reports. According to People, Connelly was visiting her uncle in Montana on May 4 on the way to a new job as a bakery manager in Alaska when she decided to go on a day hike in Great Bear Wilderness with her dog Mogi. "All I had was overalls, a sweater with a hood, a T-shirt, my dog's leash, my dog, and my car keys," she later told WLS. Connelly and Mogi ran out of water during the hike and stopped at a lake to get a drink and cool off. They were trying to get back to the trail loop when they took a wrong turn. By the time night fell, Connelly realized they were seriously lost.

Connelly says she and Mogi rested for two days, sleeping under trees, because she was too tired to move. Rescuers say the pair likely hiked an average of 10 miles a day during the ordeal. Searchers used horses, dogs, and helicopters during the hunt for Connelly. The discovery of grizzly bear tracks in the area increased the urgency. Family and friends say Connelly is an experienced hiker and "outdoors girl." When she was found Wednesday, she offered to hike out of the park, but rescuers insisted she be airlifted out. (Video of her rescue here.) Sheriff Chuck Curry tells People Connelly "was very happy that her adventure was finally over." And her mother tells KTMF her daughter's rescue was the "best Mother's Day gift ever." (Read more missing person stories.)

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