Hiker Lost in Desert for Six Days Found Alive

Hiker Lost in Desert for Six Days Found Alive

"Still here."

They are the last words written by a hiker after six days in a hell-on-earth desert with no food or water.

64-year-old Ed Rosenthal wrote those words on his hat.

"He wrote everything down that he wanted me to know, like things that he hadn't told me and he wrote everything down and he wrote on the hat who he wanted to be his pallbearers at his funeral, and he wrote down people that I could trust, how much he loved me and my daughter, and just what he wanted us to know," said Rosenthal's wife Nicole at a press conference.

The lost hiker used his floppy-brimmed hat to record his last will and testament to his wife and family.

Rosenthal, who liked to compose poetry, never went anywhere without a pen.

He is a prominent Los Angeles real estate broker and went hiking at Joshua Tree National Park in the Southern California desert.

"He had just closed this big deal downtown, he sold Clifton's Cafeteria, and he said, 'I'm going to go out and celebrate,' so he went to his favorite place, which was Black Rock Canyon," his wife Nicole said.

But Rosenthal made a wrong turn and got lost during a record-breaking Southern California heat wave and temperatures soared as high as 113 degrees. After walking 15 miles he ran out of water.

"He stayed put. He knew if he started moving around that he would not survive," Park Ranger Joe Zarki told reporters.

The desperate hiker thought the end was near. He started writing these final thoughts to his family, explaining what had happened.

"I don't think I'm going to make it," he wrote. "I made a wrong turn and don't have enough water."

On his sixth day stranded in the desert, he was finally spotted by a helicopter. He was so weak he couldn't stand, and he had to be carried to the chopper.

Rosenthal was airlifted to the hospital, where doctors say he's dehydrated but expected to make a full recovery.

Because these kinds of mishaps do happen, there is a new free website, trailnote.com, that allows outdoorsmen to post where they're going and when they'll be back. If someone doesn't return, the website immediately sends out an alert.