In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, rescued hiker Paula Lane shared details of the six days she spent stranded in the Sierra Nevada that left her boyfriend dead and Lane severely frostbitten.
The 46-year-old Lane recounted the six-day stretch beginning on November 29, when she and partner Roderick Clifton departed Citrus Heights, Calif., and headed into the Sierra. The two eventually traveled down a barricaded road on U.S. Forest Service land, Lane said, to test the four-wheel drive on a 1989 Jeep Clifton had recently purchased. The Jeep soon became entrenched in mud, stranding Lane and Roderick six miles from the nearest highway in the midst of a winter storm.
While Lane argued in favor of riding out the storm in the vehicle, Clifton insisted on venturing out for help. Despite Lane’s protests, she said, Clifton gave her a wave and headed out into the storm.
“I knew I was never going to see him again,” Lane told the “Today” show.
Lane said she survived the next several days by eating tomatoes and snow. The mother of 11-year-old twins also improvised socks out of Kleenex and masking tape. She was rescued on December 5 by her brother, Gary Lane, who found her in the hollow of a tree. Clifton’s body was discovered the same day.
Lane’s brother loaded her into a borrowed Caltrans front loader and carried her to a resort on Highway 88 south of Lake Tahoe. She is currently recovering from frostbite at a Carson City hospital.
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