Couple Follows GPS, Get Stranded for 6 Days

They ended up stuck on rocky road in Utah
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 14, 2017 7:02 AM CDT
Gerald Byler, 76, and his wife, Helena Byler, 78, talk about their experience surviving six days stranded in the desert while visiting Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.   (Marc Weaver/The Deseret News via AP)
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(Newser) – A Texas couple who narrowly survived after being stranded for six days on a desolate dirt road in southern Utah says they realized too late their GPS app was guiding them to the wrong spot. KSL reports that 78-year-old Helena Byler of Houston, Texas, said Friday that they were on a day trip to Lake Powell when she sensed they were on the wrong road, but that her husband insisted on continuing. "I told Gerry, 'Sweetheart, this doesn't sound right.' And he said, 'No it's OK' ... He wanted to continue. See, us women know better," she said, chuckling. After popping a tire in their rental car and getting stuck, she says they realized the GPS app was leading them to Lake Powell trail, not the lake.

Byler spoke at a hospital in St. George where her 76-year-old husband, Gerald Byler, is being treated in the neuro specialty rehabilitation unit. Kane County Chief Deputy Alan Alldredge said Friday that Helena Byler was found lying on the road Oct. 2 by a cattle rancher in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the AP reports. She had tried to walk far enough to find help but became severely dehydrated and had hallucinations, authorities say. Gerald Byler was found in a trailer that was near an SOS sign he made out of rocks and flowers. The experience "won’t keep us from coming back (to Utah), but I’ll do a little more planning next time," he says.

(Read more Utah stories.)

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