Feature Stories

Our Survival Story Part III -Alone with the Wolves

Scott and Vivian Mayo are as careful and experienced as anyone who recreates in Monahan Flats. They were enjoying a winter getaway in December 2013, when the unimaginable happened. This is the third and final segment of their survival story.

I burned my snow machine. It was drastic, but I needed to do it to get warmed up and work on staying alive for a few more hours. It was dark out but the fog and clouds were clearing and there was a bright half-moon. My eyes had adjusted to the moonlight and I could see all around me.

There was only a black pile of metal debris where my snow machine once sat. A small portion of the windshield was feebly burning and I stared at the small flickering flame while contemplating my next move. I was about to spend my third night alone in the frigid wilderness—I could only hope Kevin would find me first.

Elvis, my faithful dog, was peacefully sleeping on a pillow nearby, when all of a sudden he jumped up and looked behind us. He began growling and barking and was “over the top” distressed. In the moonlight I could see numerous figures bounding across the large open field next to us. At first I thought it was a small herd of caribou. But with horror, I realized what they were. Wolves! Oh my God! Panic surged through me, but I calmly said to Elvis, “We’re in trouble now, boy. I don’t think we’re going to make it out of this one alive.” I stood there in stunned silence as the wolves proceeded to surround us.

I saw four wolves on my right and two more in front of me—maybe half the length of a basketball court away. Some of them were closer —hidden in the little clumps of trees. I heard them communicating with squeaks and peeps. I recognized the sounds! They sounded like the “birds” I’d heard that morning, but these night hunters were not birds.

They were so close I could see their eyes glowing in the moonlight. I was oddly happy I’d misplaced my flashlight earlier, because if I had shined it on the wolves and seen their faces, I probably would have run screaming into the night.

As the wolves gathered around us, Elvis’s behavior changed. His ears and tail went down, and he quickly and silently ran into the hole under the trees where I had burned the suitcase. He got in there and stayed, not making a sound. Nothing! I was surrounded by a pack of Alaskan Timber Wolves, completely alone! ucm-320-x-180-bear-1

As I watched the wolves I slowly moved in front of the burned snow machine debris. I thought, They’re not going to want to come through this stinky stuff so my back might be safe. I stood tall staring back at the wolves. I had this little blue blanket over my shoulders and whirled it around a little bit. I began yelling, “Oh, my God, what are you doing here wolves? What do you want with me?” I screamed at the top of my lungs, “Leave, get outta here!”

I reached back for a long piece of metal in the snow machine wreckage. I didn’t have any gloves on and that metal was no longer hot but freezing cold so it frost-burned my hand badly. I grabbed it up, ignoring the pain, and slowly started hitting the metal frame of my snow machine. Bang! Boom! I thought, Hmmm, this makes me feel better. So I started banging and continued yelling, “Get outta here, leave!” I just made as much noise as I could, running the piece of metal back and forth across the skeleton of my machine and hitting it.

The tote I had used for my back was upside down in the snow near me, so I pulled it toward me. I was careful not to bend down too much or turn my back to the wolves. I started banging on that tote also and it sounded like a big drum. Boom! Boom! Boom! Let me tell you, I banged my drum and yelled at those wolves for all I was worth, while swirling my blanket, making myself look as big and as intimidating to them as possible.

I don’t know why I did what I did but I was doing something. I think God must have sent the ideas to me. Or maybe they came from one of the many books I’ve read over the years. I wasn’t just sitting there waiting for the wolves to make a decision. No, I was controlling them and that made me feel powerful. Those wolves didn’t leave, but they sat down. With their moon-filled eyes fixed on me they just sat back on their haunches … and waited.

Through all of this the wolves continued communicating with their soft squeaking sounds. I have done some research since my run-in with the wolves and now know I was hearing the real deal. There is one study that comments “… each wolf has a ‘squeak’ unique only to them.”

I kept up the banging and yelling for maybe three or four hours—a long time. Being active was keeping my body core warm, but my feet were starting to freeze because I was standing in one place.

A few hours into my wolf “showdown” I noticed lights about two and a half miles away on the Denali trail and could hear people talking. Unknown to me, 20 dog teams were mushing the Denali trail that night. It’s amazing how far sound carries when it’s 25 below zero.

When I saw their lights I thought it was my son, Kevin, and a search party coming in on snow machines to save me and find Scotty. With the thought of rescue I got really crazy! I was screaming, “Kevin’s coming and he has a gun, you had better run wolves!” I was singing, “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes.” I was doing anything and everything I could think of to make noise and keep the wolves back. Needless to say, at this point I was giddy with excitement! I was feeling all of the positive emotions you can think of: hope, confidence, courage, optimism, and buoyancy even. And I dared to believe that Elvis and I might survive.

But soon, I couldn’t see the lights or hear anything. All signs of rescue slowly faded away. I thought, They’re taking so long because they must not be able to find me… Maybe it’s someone that isn’t familiar with our trail. Then I thought, Oh no, they’re leaving! They’re not coming! Frustrated, I began screaming frantically, “You guys are close! Come and find me! The wolves are here. Hurry!” But of course those mushers weren’t looking for me.

There is no doubt in my mind that I was a little insane at this point. I had fallen over the edge into the abyss. But rescue and survival were foremost on my mind.

I had just experienced the “I’m saved” high and now I was wallowing in the lowest depths of despair. That is when I heard it. The sound that runs in every B-rated “Wolfman” flick I saw as a kid. I heard one long high-pitched wolf howl. The hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up. My banging and yelling became much louder after that.

About 30 minutes later I saw more flashes of light shining through the trees on the trail. And I thought with renewed hope that “my rescuers” may be coming for me at last. I was confused. I could still see the wolves all around me and if snow machines were coming why weren’t they running away? I thought I could hear snow machines, but I couldn’t be sure. I know this is hard to believe but I saw more wolves running toward me on the trail. They were moving together and their eyes were shining brightly in the moonlight. I’m not sure how many more there were, maybe three or four, but they were much smaller in size. They looked like small huskies. The pack had called and the young ones had shown up for the feast.

My mind could barely comprehend what was happening. I became unbelievably terrified and desperate. I thought, Kevin is not going to get here in time to save me. This could be the last few minutes of my life. I lost all hope and let out a pathetic howl of my own. When all the wolves stood up and looked at me with renewed interest I quickly realized this show of weakness was a terrible mistake. Their heads were down and eyes shining. I knew right then if I wanted to live I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and be strong again! It was hard for me to bang and yell with intensity, but I carried on with as much vigor as I could muster. Click here to subscribe to Last Frontier Magazine!

I know this will sound cliche, but the moon does affect the behavior of wolves. Because of the moon I was able to see my surroundings and keep my eyes on the wolves that were in the open. On the flip side, when a cloud would move over the moon—those wolves got so active! Those peeps and squeaks got really intense, and the wolves would get up and move in a little closer to me. I felt at the mercy of a bunch of clouds! Freaking unbelievable! Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bank of clouds moving my way and thought, My God, when those clouds cover the moon the wolves are going to come in after me! But the good Lord was looking after me yet again and those clouds stayed up against the mountains, leaving my bright moon alone!

All this time Elvis was still as quiet as a mouse. His natural instincts told him to fear the wolves and he was scared to death. He knew what he should be doing and that was making no noise at all.

At this point I knew it was getting late in the evening, close to the time Kevin would come for me. I had been standing in one place, yelling and banging for hours and I couldn’t even feel my feet! I felt like I was standing on stumps. I hadn’t had time to melt snow for water and was incredibly thirsty, but I knew the wolves would pick up on any sign of weakness, like bending over to collect snow. So I kept facing them and looking as big and strong as I could while feeling incredibly weak and knowing I had to move soon because my feet were freezing solid.

If I wanted to sit down I would have to pick my way through the snow machine debris to get to the cargo sled behind me. I had to give it a try, so I made my move. Using that “banging” piece of metal as a crutch, I made my way toward the sled and almost fell once but somehow I stayed upright on my frozen feet.

I was fearful of looking weak to the wolves but it was such a relief to sit I nearly cried. The instant my butt hit the sled I started tearing through the plastic bag searching for my matches. I thought, I have to light something on fire. A fire might scare them off, or at the very least keep them at bay. I couldn’t find the matches or even think of anything to burn. I was in a full-blown panic now! I had already burned everything I could burn but my brain was stuck on starting a fire. I kept chanting, “I’ve got to burn something! I’ve got to burn something!” It was my mantra and I couldn’t stop.

I forgot I’d put the matches in my coat pocket after I lit my snow machine on fire. I was sitting on the sled, madly searching the bag, when I noticed something odd. It was quiet! Totally silent! I thought, Oh my God, maybe the wolves are gone! Maybe they heard a snow machine! Maybe they’ve left! Oh thank God!

With disbelief I started frantically peering around. First I searched up the trail toward Monahan Creek to see if I could spot any of them. Then I turned to my right and my heart flipping stopped! Six or seven, at the most eight feet away, a huge wolf had slunk up on its belly. It was looking toward that little hollow where Elvis was hiding.

I didn’t think, I just acted. I banged that piece of metal on the sled. Bam! Bam! Bam! And screamed, “How did you get so close you SOB!” I tried to scare it away. I didn’t stand up but I puffed up attempting to make myself look big and bad. Well, that wolf didn’t move an inch. All he did was turn away from me. He turned his head and looked the other way. But … then he turned back and looked directly at me. My insides froze, I thought, I’m never getting away from this one. He snuck up on me and he’s too close.sunscribe

He stared at me with those glowing eyes and I could see his tongue hanging out of his mouth. I was horrified! I cannot express how soul-shaking it was to see this wolf a few feet away from me. I thought, My God, Kevin’s going to find me torn into bloody pieces! No, I cannot let him find me like that, it will kill him!

My brain was scrambling trying to think. What can you do Viv? What can you do? The idea came to me just like in the comic books. A little light bulb went off in my head and I said, “I know what I’m going to do! I’m going to jump under this sled! I’m going to get under this sled and pull it over the top of me!”

Then I thought, Can I really do it? I was so weak at this point. I was tired and thirsty and I couldn’t feel my feet. Again I asked, “Do you think you can do this Viv? Hell yeah I can! You’re going to do it. You are not going to let Kevin find you ripped to pieces!” So, I threw that piece of metal down, hauled up that sled, and slid under it as quickly as I could—pretty damn fast for a 56-year-old “big chick” with one good leg. I would like to take the credit for my swiftness, but I have to attribute my agility to adrenaline and terror.

I wanted Elvis under the sled with me. I thought, I’m so sorry Elvis! I can’t save you. I expected to hear his yelps and cries at any moment, but Elvis was so smart. He stayed hidden in his little hole.

Now there was another problem … I am extremely claustrophobic. I freak out if someone hugs me too tightly, I have to “medicate” when I fly, and getting an MRI is out of the question. Small spaces make me crazy! I jerked that sled down over my body as tightly as it would go. It was like a coffin under there, but I had to do it or die.

When I pulled the sled over me “the wolf ruff” on my parka was sticking out a bit. The instant I pulled my hood in, a nose or something “bumped” the sled. I knew it was that wolf! I could hear his footfalls thump, thump, thump and felt the vibrations coming up from the ground. Another strange thing was happening. I had snugged that sled down around me as tightly as I could, but Scott had welded metal tie-downs all around the edge and the darn thing wouldn’t lay completely flat on the ground. Well, that wolf got his eyes right down close and peered under the sled at me. The moonlight reflected off of the snow onto his eyes, and then up under the sled. It was like a light beacon moving around inside the sled. I was so petrified I could hardly breathe. Then another wolf came close! I thought, In no time flat they’re going to start digging under this sled and try to get me. I made a plan. It was sickening and stupid! I can’t even believe I thought, I’ll go for their eyes. I’ll poke out their eyes. But they’ll probably bite my fingers off.

While lying under that coffin-like sled, I said to myself, “I would rather stay here and die of hypothermia than get eaten by the wolves.” I prayed to God and asked Him, “God … Lord, don’t let it hurt too badly and please take me quickly when they get me.” I didn’t want to die like this!

As I huddled under the sled the wolves continued their circling, sniffing and nose bumping. I fervently prayed that I didn’t smell like “prey.” I was covered in toxic fumes, I had a wolf ruff on my parka and I didn’t smell like a caribou. Taking those facts into consideration I could only hope that I smelled foreign and unappetizing to them.

My nasty smell may explain why “the close wolf” didn’t lunge at me when I jumped under the sled. Or, maybe it was my crazy antics, racket, and chest beating. Maybe I had been more intimidating than I thought. I can’t presume to understand why things went down the way they did but when that big bad wolf looked away, after I cussed him out, he was exhibiting submissive behavior. I cannot explain why the other wolves didn’t come in and join the fun. It’s a possibility that they might have heard the snow machines coming and needed to get their young to safety. I guess I’ll never know the answers to these questions.

I thought I was “cold” when I dove under the sled—not even close! I was lying flat on my back on the frozen ground, unable to move an inch—now I was freezing cold and shaking uncontrollably. When I was gripped by a bout of shivers and shook like a leaf, those wolves started banging their noses up against the sled. Holy cow was I scared! My world had shrunk down to a dark 3’x 5’x 3’ box and I was just waiting for whatever was going to happen next. I believed in my heart that it was time for me to die.

The minutes slowly ticked by and I was getting even colder. After about 15 or 20 minutes, I noticed that the wolves weren’t looking under or bumping the sled as often. But I still heard them. I prayed they were losing interest. I was so cold that I didn’t trust my judgment and thought that my mind might be playing tricks on me.

This was when I heard a snow machine! I couldn’t believe it! I thought, This can’t be real. It’s wishful thinking. Again! But, the sound of the snow machines got closer!

Elvis came out of his little hidey hole to look for me and started peering under the sled. He was whining and kind of snorting like he does with me, but I was so fearful I just quietly lay there praying it was really Elvis.

Then I heard Kevin yell, “There it is!” I started screaming at this point, “Get this thing off of me! Get it off! Get me out of here!” I was yelling and pounding with my fists but the sound was muffled and distorted. My voice sounded like it was coming from somewhere else, like a ventriloquist’s act. Kevin thought I was out in the trees somewhere. He was yelling for Joel to go out and look for me, and I was right there!

“Please don’t leave!” I said. In desperation, I gathered all my strength and moved the sled a little bit. Jim, the fish and game officer, excitedly said, “I think she’s under here!” My rescuers pulled that dang sled off of me, I rolled out, and I just lost it! Kevin was there! I wasn’t going to die by wolves or freezing.

I was crying and shaking uncontrollably. Elvis was licking my face and jumping all over me. I think I went into shock. After being alone for so long I was having total sensory overload.

Kevin fell on his knees, got right down in my face, and said, “Mom you’re alive! Where’s Dad?”

I sobbed, “He’s been lost since Saturday.” Kevin gathered me up in his arms and we cried. It was horrible to have to tell Kevin about his dad.
I was beside myself. I clung to Kevin and told him, “The wolves were after me! The wolves were here! Oh my God! The wolves were after me!” I must have seemed totally insane to them. After witnessing my distress and hearing that Scott was missing, Jim knew I was in trouble and Scott needed a rescue team pronto. It was about 1:00 AM on the 11th of December when he activated his emergency locater beacon. He alerted the Rescue Coordination Center in Anchorage and that got the ball rolling for the Air National Guard search and rescue team to start the search for Scotty.296409-in-shadow-denali-360x360

Thank God Jim had come with Kevin and Joel. Jim Ellison is the Fish and Game Trooper stationed in Cantwell. Although we had never met Jim, he was willing to put his life on the line for us. Joel McDonald is our good friend and hunting buddy. He lives in Cantwell with his two great children, Fiona and Owen. Joel helped Kevin orchestrate the search by providing the snow machines for Kevin and himself.

After Jim activated the beacon he attempted calling out on his sat phone to line up a rescue plan. It was much too cold at 25 below zero and the darn thing wouldn’t work, so he put the phone batteries under his shirt to warm them up. After warming the batteries Jim’s hands were so cold he couldn’t hold the phone and punch the buttons, so Joel did the dialing and Jim held the phone. The rescue process was set in motion.

Kevin said, “Mom we have to get you back to the cabin and warm you up.”

“I’m so cold Kevin, I don’t think I can make it. Can’t you start a fire here?” I asked.

“We don’t have any way to start a fire here Mom. We have to get you to the cabin now!”

To haul me back to camp we had to use my sled wired to Kevin’s machine. Attaching a sled to a snow machine with wire is asking for problems and I knew I was in for a rough ride.

Kevin threw my blankets in the bottom of the sled, then he, Joel and Jim picked me up and put me in. I had made a gallant effort to get my butt off the ground but I was just too weak to get in the sled myself. Joel got in the sled with me to try and warm me up. But our combined weight and an ailing snow machine made it impossible for him to stay. Kevin threw Elvis in the sled with me instead and off we went crashing and banging down the trail.

I banged my head so hard going down the hill into Monahan Creek I nearly blacked out. I actually warmed up just trying to hold myself in place so I wouldn’t break my neck in that sled. It seemed like forever, but we finally got to the cabin. I don’t know how Elvis stayed in that sled and survived the trip!

While Jim and Joel got the wood stove roaring, Kevin started checking me for injuries. The first thing he did was check out my hands. When they found me my hands were black with soot from the piece of metal I had used for a drum stick. In the dark and coupled with the fact that I didn’t have any gloves on, my hands had appeared severely frost bitten. But after examining them in the light, Kevin was relieved to find two dirty unfrozen hands. Then Kevin set his sights on my feet. He carefully removed my boots. My feet were so cold I could hardly tell my boots were off. I was afraid to look at my toes, fearful of what I might see. It was hard to tell how badly they were frostbitten. There was some discoloration on my right big toe and second toe.

Because of the low outside temperature it was taking a while to warm up the cabin. So I was still wearing all of my cold weather gear except for my boots. Jim had brought some new-fangled warming blankets and he put those around me. Kevin unzipped my parka to get the blankets inside my parka closer to my skin and was astonished to feel how warm I was at my core. I thought I was freezing to death underneath that sled but my North Slope parka had kept my body core warm and saved my life. It was my legs, feet, and arms that were cold.

At this point I was a little preoccupied with my hair. I have very long hair and every hair on my head was twirled into a big rat’s nest. I said, “Oh man! I think I’m going to need to have all my hair cut off.” Kevin said, “Mom, you just survived freezing to death and a wolf pack, don’t worry about your hair. Right now we have to concentrate on finding Dad!”

“I know, I know. I just can’t think about Dad right now. I can’t do it. I can’t think about what may have happened to him,” I sobbed. I had to cover my face with my hands just talking about it. I was having a hard time staying connected to reality.

It was around 2:30 AM on December 11th, when Jim and Joel went out on the trails behind camp to start searching for Scott. Kevin stayed in camp with me and fed me warm broth and cocoa. I had never tasted anything so wonderful. Although I was warming up I still couldn’t feel my feet. I thought, “Oh man, I’m losing toes on this one.” I’m happy to say I didn’t lose any of my toes!

Kevin was getting anxious and a little upset because he wanted to know what was going on with his dad. I covered my face with my hands and said, “I think he must be gone, because he always comes back. He must have hurt himself or had a heart attack. Something bad happened for him not to come back to me.”

Scott had made the mistake of not taking extra gas with him on his short day trip. Due to the low fog bank and lack of reference points, he had gotten turned around on Monahan Flats following trail after trail until he had run out of gas. He’d hunkered down the first night in the sled with his buddy heater. The next day Scott made an attempt to walk back to camp, but realized he wasn’t going to make it when his legs started giving out on him. He thought, If I can’t find my way back to camp on my machine what makes me think I’ll find the right trail on foot? Making a decision that probably saved his life, he made his way back to the area where his snow machine was and found a good spot in the forest to camp. He cut down a large tree with his axe and used the spruce boughs to build a shelter. He started a fire and fed the large tree in bit by bit. He had his metal water bottle with him and hung it above the fire to melt snow so he would have drinking water. He also had his peanut butter and pilot bread to keep his energy up.

Scott had gone into survival mode and he really made some good choices after his first big mistake of not taking extra gas with him that day. My big mistake was leaving the cabin. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have stayed put. Most survival stories are built on big mistakes, and we both made them.

Joel came back to camp around 3:30 AM. Jim was still out behind camp searching for Scott. They had gotten separated on Scott’s confusing network of trapping trails. It’s scary when it’s 25 below out there and you’re following endless trails around in the dark. Everything looks the same. They could have ended up going in circles and running out of gas like Scott did.

At 4:15 AM we heard a big airplane and helicopter fly over our camp. Jim had sent the GPS coordinates of the area and they were looking for Scott with heat seeking equipment and night vision goggles.

Kevin and I were excited and anxious now that the team was in the area. We were desperate for them to locate Scotty, but so afraid of what they might find. The moment was upon us and we had to face whatever came next.

Scott was sitting by his fire, freezing, weak, tired, hungry and thirsty. He had been trying to talk himself into getting up and finding more firewood. His fire was burning low and he was feeling too weak to get more.

Scott heard what he thought must be a military plane getting closer and closer. They must be looking for me! he thought. He grabbed his head lamp—he’d been saving the last of the battery power for just this reason. Scott ran out of the woods into the open. Later he said, “I don’t even know how I got out there. One minute I was sitting there and the next I was up and running.” The rescue team in the plane saw his heat signature and radioed his location to the helicopter. It didn’t take the helicopter long to arrive at Scott’s makeshift camp to pick him up. The chopper’s rotor blast nearly sent Scott flying into the trees, but he didn’t care—they had found him! Scott could not believe he had survived. One of his rescuers got out of the helicopter, asked him his name, and asked if he was “the dad.” Scott yelled over the roar of the chopper, “I don’t care who I am, just get me outta here!” He had been stranded outside in freezing temperatures since December 7th and on December 11th; the Air National Guard plucked Scott from the fingers of certain death.

Kevin had put some flashlights out to indicate the safest landing zone for the helicopter, and around 5:15 AM they set down on the lake. He ran out to see if they had found his dad. When he was gone all I could do was sit with my hands covering my face, I didn’t want to hear that Scott was gone.

When Kevin reached the helicopter doors, against all odds and to his utter amazement he saw his dad alive! Kevin climbed in and hugged him and over the roar of engines said, “Mom was attacked by wolves, but she’s okay.” Scott said, “What the hell’s going on here?” He told me later that he hoped I would stay at the cabin, but knew I would probably try and go for help.

Kevin came bursting through the cabin door and said, “Mom, Dad’s alive! He’s alive!”

I yelled, “He’s alive?” I don’t know why I asked Kevin this question but I asked, “Are his feet frozen?” Kevin said, “No, no, he’s fine!” And I said, “Man, he is one tough SOB. I can’t believe he’s alive!”

The Air National Guard rescue crew followed Kevin into the cabin and told me that they had to get us to the hospital in Anchorage. I’d thought that they would drop Scott off and we would just head home with Kevin in the morning. I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

When our rescuers came in the cabin they were decked out in “high tech gear” and looked pretty frightening. One of them introduced himself as Jeremy and told me that they were going to put me on a stretcher and carry me to the helicopter. The stretcher they brought in set off all of my “claustrophobia bells!” I had just been under that coffin-like sled, but that had been life or death, do it or die. This was totally different. I had time to think about my fears. This stretcher was kind of like a mummy bag. It zips up over your arms and head and even has a flap over your face to protect you from the rotor blast. I told them I just couldn’t handle it and that it was never going to happen. They relented, but told me I had to be strapped to the stretcher without the bag, and had to wear gloves and cover my face or else I wouldn’t be able to breathe in the rotor blast.

When they got me up to the helicopter doors I saw Scott sitting there drinking a cup of steaming coffee. What a sight for sore eyes! I was strapped onto that stretcher but we awkwardly hugged one another and cried. We had so many questions to ask but couldn’t hear one another over the helicopter noise. Right then we didn’t need to talk, we just held on to each other the best we could and cried with relief.

Scott and I wanted to take Elvis with us on the helicopter, but he had to stay with Kevin at the cabin. It was a cold ride back to Cantwell for little old Elvis and our rescue boys, but they all made it home safely!

I believe Scott and I are alive today because of Kevin, Kaeleen and Blaine’s unwavering resolve to find us. Kaeleen had been making calls to the Cantwell fire department and troopers since 7:30 PM on December 10th. Kevin talked to the troopers and fire department numerous times trying to line out a rescue party. And because Blaine was on “the slope,” he did the only thing he could do for us … he prayed!

For safety’s sake most of the local rescue teams intended to wait until morning to search for us. But Kevin and Joel were going to look for us whether the trooper and fire department came or not. Kevin told Jim, “No way am I waiting! My Dad has a heart condition and they would never be late unless something was wrong. We have to go find them tonight!” This was when Jim really got on board with the late-night search.

A heartfelt thank you to Kevin, Jim, and Joel for risking their lives to come find us. Scott and I also want to thank The Alaska Air National Guard Search and Rescue Team for their part in giving our survival story a happy ending.

– by Vivian Mayo

Our Survival Story Part 1 | Part 2 

4 replies »

  1. Thank you for posting your survival experience. It was hair raising to read and can’t imagine your feelings while out there against the elements, let alone those hungry wolves. And your family was amazing, they acted quickly against all odds that literally saved you both in the nick of time, well done!

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