Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter found alive after being stranded for days in a state park

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Cathy Frye, 43, was found alive but dehydrated Sunday after becoming lost while hiking with her husband during their annual “anniversary trip” to Texas’s Big Bend National Park. She was airlifted to an El Paso hospital, unable to move because of cactus thorns and soreness from dehydration. She spent five nights alone in a state park. (They went there after being kicked out of Big Bend when the federal government shut down.)

The Democrat-Gazette reports:

Cathy Frye

Cathy Frye

After three days of hiking the desert terrain with limited supplies, Frye told her husband Friday that she couldn’t travel any farther on foot. Together they made the decision for [husband Rick] McFarland to continue on toward their truck alone.

But by the time McFarland got to the couple’s truck, reached a ranger’s station and arrived with a ranger back to where he thought he had left Frye, it was getting dark and Frye was nowhere to be found.

Search crews started looking for the reporter on Saturday; a rescuer with binoculars spotted a body in a valley on Sunday and found Frye in a dry creek bed under a small piece of brush. “I just kept rotating around it as the sun moved around, trying to stay in the shade,” she told her newspaper.

* Couple has near-fatal 4-day hike after getting kicked out of park (
* Journalist Cathy Frye found after becoming lost on a hike (