The fathers were planning a short afternoon field trip with their children, a simple drive in the snow.
But after two Idaho dads and their kids got stranded in the snow, they walked for 19 miles – surviving a bone-chilling night and learning some lessons in the process.
The ordeal began Saturday after Will Murkle and his 10-year-old daughter Megun headed out with John Julian and his kids – Samantha, 8, and Isaac, 7.
Their SUV got stuck in the snow.
No gas. No supplies. No cellphone service.
Chaunte Murkle expected her husband and daughter home in Boise by 5 p.m. As the hours passed, she became more and more concerned.
“I started to get the most worried probably around midnight,” she said.
The group sang songs and told stories to distract themselves from the cold. They also huddled for warmth, fearing what they might encounter. Eventually, the group came across ominous markings in the snow.
“The scariest thing was when we came across fresh wolf tracks,” Will Murkle said. “And we could tell wolves had been in the area recently.”
Luckily, no wolves emerged.
After a long, cold night, the group walked for nine hours – 19 miles. Along the way, the dads encouraged their hungry children.
“We told them that they’d get a cheeseburger, hot chocolate, fries and a soda,” John Julian said.
Eventually on Sunday, they found a cabin and phoned their families.
While the dads and children are all doing OK, their experience has given them perspective. Megun Murkle plans on being prepared whenever she leaves home.
“I’m going to bring an extra blanket, sleeping bags, food and more water, and pillows, and a tent, and a shovel and sand,” she said.