NEWS

Alberta woman home after harrowing 2-week ordeal in the bush

08/17/2012 10:26 EDT | Updated 10/17/2012 05:12 EDT
A Calling Lake, Alta. woman who was lost in the bush for two weeks says she never had any doubt that she would make it home.

Rhonda Cardinal, 41, disappeared on July 31 after walking away from a remote hunting camp in the wilderness of northern Alberta.

"I wasn't scared or anything because I figured I wasn't too far from Calling Lake," she said on Thursday.

Cardinal wasn't wearing shoes or jacket during her two weeks in the woods. "All I had was a tank top on."

She walked until her feet were swollen and blistered, surviving on water from streams and berries she found in the bush. At one point, she stumbled on a cabin where she was able to spend two nights. She even survived an encounter with a bear.

"All I seen was just bush all around me," she said. "I didn't know where I was or where I was going."

Cardinal's ordeal came to an end on Wednesday when she was able to flag down a Husky Oil employee who was driving along a service road. RCMP say the man had just read an article about her disappearance in the newspaper before he left for work that day.

Cardinal is back home in Calling Lake with family and friends, who are relieved that she is safe and sound.

"I gave up hope but now I'm just happy that she's home," said her son Brandon Cardinal.

Cardinal's arms are covered with scratches and insect bites. She's weak and sore but expected to recover.

"I don't think I'll be going camping or anything for a while now," she said. "Think I've had enough bush for a while."

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