Geocachers Save Two Women Stuck In Desert

Women Stuck For More Than 48 Hours

Two men looking for geocaches ended up also finding two women trapped in sand and debris.

Roy Joseph and Paul Fox went geocaching last week in what's called the Delores Triangle area, south of Grand Junction on the Colorado-Utah border.

Geocaching is a high-tech version of hide-and-seek where people use GPS devices to find some "caches" of treasures hidden outdoors.

Joseph said they found the first geocache, then a second.

The area was muddy because of heavy rain, and Joseph said he and Fox even talked about not wanting to get stuck in the mud.

"We were going to turn around to look for a third geocache when we decided to drive on down to the river," said Joseph.

"As we came over a hill, here’s this Dodge van," said Joseph. "It had towels covering the windshield."

"I’m telling Paul, 'This doesn’t look right, but we’ve got to check it out,'" said Joseph.

Joseph said when he and Fox drove up to the van, a woman got out, said "Thank God," and starting crying.

The woman and her elderly mother got stuck on a drive last Sunday afternoon. They both had health problems and couldn't push the van out of the sand and debris. Joseph and Fox found them two days later.

"You could tell the mother was dehydrated, and they didn't have any water or food, " said Joseph.

Joseph gave the women water and Fox gave the women lunch. Then the men used a tow strap to get the women out of the ravine.

Joseph said there was a lot of debris around the van's front tires from the recent rain.

"If there had been more rain and runoff, it would have been more serious," said Joseph. "Just down ravine, the creek dropped down into a bigger canyon."

Joseph and Fox followed the women back to a main intersection and made sure the women could get back to town.

"They were nice ladies and really appreciative of us helping them," said Joseph.

Joseph is a long-time off-road driver and spoke from experience when he warned casual drivers to take precautions.

"While it was great that they were out exploring the great outdoors and the beautiful areas we have in Western Colorado, there are things to do to be safe and lower the risk of something serious happening," he said.

"Know your limits and your vehicle's limits and don't go beyond them," said Joseph. "Go prepared, take extra water, food and blankets. Tell someone where you are going or at least the general direction and when you should be back. It would be best to go with someone else in another vehicle."