- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

MILLINOCKET, Maine (AP) - A 78-year-old hiker from Virginia who went missing in Maine’s Baxter State Park last week said he survived on granola bars, water and his backwoods skills for three days until he was rescued.

John Lyon was scratched up and bruised, but was still confident during the first two days he spent lost in the dense forests of the park last week. But on the third day, the veteran outdoorsman who’s logged thousands of miles on trails said he began to pray.

“I prayed right before then, and I never pray,” Lyon told the Portland Press Herald (https://bit.ly/1hR5KJW ) from his hospital room on Monday. “It was getting colder.”

Lyon, of Dumfries, Virginia, was recuperating with family in Millinocket Regional Hospital roughly 24 hours after Maine Forest Service rangers spotted him waving and plucked him from a remote mountainside. He was being treated for a partially collapsed lung from a fall and bumps and bruises, which he said made him look like he was “in a fight with a bear.”

Lyon acknowledged that he made a few mistakes during the recent hike despite his experience. He left his companions Thursday to hike ahead with plans to reconnect with them later on the trail, but wasn’t carrying a map and got lost.

“That was the biggest mistake: I didn’t have a map and I had never been there before,” he said.

Lyon said he would probably continue to hike - he tries to go twice a week - but he would stick with his group and make sure he carries a map.


Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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