http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/12/0 ... /76607178/
I wonder if the guy who found her was dressed like he is in the photo accompanying the article...lolA California dirt bike rider on his way home from Las Vegas found a Sparks woman stranded in the Mojave desert seven days after she had been reported missing by her family.
Joan Scolari, 73, called her family last week to tell them her car had broken down in the desert near Nipton, Calif., Sparks police said in a news release Monday evening.
Scolari had flown to Las Vegas on Nov. 22 and was reported missing two days later. She was found Monday, her car stuck on a dirt hump on a remote road in the Mojave National Preserve in California.
Scolari’s family had told police she called her daughter early Nov. 24 and told her she had rented a car she planned on driving to Lake Havasu. That was the last time her family heard from her, police said in an earlier statement.
Kevin “Chili” Walker, 34, was riding from Las Vegas to Joshua Tree, Calif., on his dirt bike when he saw a white Kia Optima high-centered on the road.
He then saw a woman next to the car with her hands crossed at her waist just staring at him, he said.
“I waved at her and she waved back in a very shy way,” Walker said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “As I puttered past her, I looked back over my shoulder, and when she realized I wasn’t stopping, she started waving me back.”
He took off his helmet and cracked a bad joke about the worst places to get stuck. Then he learned she had been stranded for a week.
“She had not seen or heard any traffic in the seven days she was out there,” Walker said. “She was in complete disbelief when she heard my motorcycle coming her way.”
Walker was working as part of a rapid response rescue team for the annual LA/Barstow/Vegas two-day motorcycle cruise. The event included about 600 riders, and Walker was in charge of providing first aid if anyone crashed. He said he often has to carry items such as gauze, bandages, ice packs and emergency blankets.
Luckily, Scolari looked like she was in good shape, he said.
“I’m usually dealing with high trauma cases where people get broken necks, broken legs, broken shoulders… or they get heat exhaustion or hypothermia,” Walker said.
Walker said he was taking the remote route home to explore.
“It was very lucky,” he said of finding Scolari. “I had people trying to talk me out of the ride home, people calling me crazy, people offering me a ride home, but I told them, ‘I’m just riding through...’”
The first thing he did was offer her water, which she quickly drank, he said. Scolari told Walker she had found a pipe with clear water coming out of it and had been sipping from a yogurt cup, Walker said. She also told him she was running the car heater at night.
“I wouldn’t say desolate is the right word for it… but there are no people, and there’s a couple of mining claims out there,” Walker said of the area. “That’s where she was able to find the water.”
“It’s literally just roads through the desert,” he said.
Scolari became stranded on her way to Lake Havasu and had followed the car’s GPS system.
“Apparently, the GPS told her to go this way, that way and down this one,” Walker said.
“I don’t know if it was looking for the fastest route or the shortest distance, but I think that’s what happened,” he said. “She was just trusting the GPS.”
Walker eventually helped push the car forward, and Scolari was able to drive to the nearest town for gas, he said.
“I think she would have kept drinking the water and unfortunately – unless someone else went out that way – she probably would’ve starved or froze to death,” Walker said. “If she wasn’t running that heater in her car, I imagine the cold would have gotten to her.”
Sparks detectives worked with authorities in Kingman, Ariz., and Scolari’s family in attempt to locate her.
Scolari was in good condition and back with her family. She did not return calls Tuesday for comment.