Houston-area woman found days after missing on southern California hike

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A Houston-area woman is safe after spending nights on the ground lost in the mountains of southern California.

“I was training to get to the top of Mount Whitney. It’s the highest of the lower 48,” said Peggy Faulk. “I did the hike with a friend and she’s a lot faster than me, and I said, ‘If you want to keep going and go.'”

It was supposed to be just another training day for Peggy at the San Gorgonio in Calif. The plan was to catch up with her friend and meet her at the car, but her phone lost track of the track and she didn’t have a backup system – which she said was a big mistake.

“But, I thought, ‘Well, I’m just going to go south.’ The altitude affects your thinking, it was so stupid, ”Peggy said.

A full search to find Peggy quickly began after she failed to meet her friend.

“We searched Sunday night, all day Monday,” said Paul Franking with the search and rescue team from Volunteer San Bernardino Co.

As of Tuesday, there was still no sign of Peggy. At that point, Peggy’s daughter, Alexandra Faulk, jumped on a plane from Houston to California, praying for the best.

“I was absolutely in shock that my mom was missing, as she’s done several hikes here in California,” Alexandra said.

Countless volunteers had searched high and low and just when they least expected it, Franking spotted her just in time.
“When they finally found me, I had been hallucinating for a few days,” Peggy said. “When I saw people in orange shirts walking, I was like, ‘Boy, my hallucinations are going crazy.'”

Peggy, for the most part, was in good shape. What may have made the difference is that it always carries more water than necessary and lots of snacks.

“We’re having an extreme heat spill here, (and) it was in a pretty exposed area,” Franking said. “The fact that she was not suffering from dehydration, she had prepared for it.”

Peggy said she is extremely grateful to the many volunteers who do this in their spare time and sends her love to her friends in Houston who have prayed for her rescue.

As for the rest, she did not comment.

“No comment,” Peggy said with a laugh. “I think I’ll be in trouble if I comment. I’ve been told not to hike in the future.”

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