Sajean Geer, 71, survived six nights in the wilderness of the Olympic National Park with her dog, Yoda, after becoming lost while spreading her late husband’s ashes.
Last Monday, on her 71st birthday, Sajean Geer pulled her Ford Explorer to the side of a dirt road, and ventured into the wilderness.
All she had with her was a pair of sunglasses, the clothes on her back, her cellphone, her car keys, an urn, and her dog, Yoda.
The urn held the ashes of Geer’s husband of 34 years, Jack, who died in December after a heart attack. For months, she had mourned his death “in a state of shock,” she said.
“I got through that, and I was ready to complete … that cycle of my life. I’ll honor it, I’ll cherish it, but I need to move on,” Geer said Tuesday.
She’d promised to scatter his ashes at his two favorite places in the world: The Kona coast on the Big Island of Hawaii and near Obstruction Point, inside Olympic National Park.
Focused on closing a chapter of life, “I ran out there,” she said.
After she spread his ashes, she realized she’d lost her bearing.
“I didn’t think I walked that far, but I could have, because I was emotional,” she said.
Hoping to catch sight of the road from a high point, she climbed a hill, but slipped and sent the urn tumbling below.
With dusk settling over the range, she was embarrassed to realize she was lost.
“All my outdoor experience has been hiking on trails with signs, and I hadn’t had experience in total wilderness like that. All I could see is trees. I couldn’t find anything to orient myself with,” she said.
As the light waned, she found a log to sleep beneath and curled up next to Yoda. It would be the first of six nights she spent in the wilderness alone.
She built a shelter
Geer spent the next day walking.
“I did this…