North Bay couple Rick Moynan and Lynne Carmody, who are both in their 60s, walked out of the forest virtually unscathed as crews were thinking about ending an extensive search on Sunday.
Bob Moynan said he spoke with his son on the phone hours after he was told that the search might be suspended.
"He says, 'We didn't know what all the fuss was about,'" said Moynan from his home near North Bay.
"I said, 'Well Rick, think about it. You were due back for dinner on Monday night at five o'clock, and you're seven days late.'"
Moynan and Carmody were on a day hike near a lodge where they were staying in Cathedral Provincial Park when they got lost last Monday.
They managed to survive by staying close to water and building themselves a shelter.
The couple was exhausted and bruised when they left their shelter and stumbled upon rescuers after spotting a helicopter. They were taken to hospital for a precautionary assessment.
Moynan said his son has a fair amount of outdoors experience, and Carmody's now-deceased longtime husband worked in search and rescue.
He said the ordeal was "terrible" for his family, but he never gave up hope.
"We are people of faith and we were praying a lot," Moynan said.
"It's almost a miracle that they could survive seven days and be able to be healthy enough to have been able to walk out. So we're just terribly, terribly grateful that it's over, and we've all learned something."
He said the couple was on their way back on Ontario on Monday.
Frank Caruso, a filmmaker in Toronto who is originally from North Bay, has known Moynan for 45 years and said he can sleep soundly now that his friend is safe.
He said he was expecting the worst when a week went by and more than 300 searchers still weren't able to find the couple.
"I kept thinking, how far could he possibly walk?" Caruso said.
"But it's all good. It ended well, that's all that matters."
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