Editor's note: This essay was submitted to the Idaho Mountain Express by Hailey resident Toni Peebler. It was written by her son, Todd Peebler, to friends while he was recovering at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center from a nearly fatal three-day trek through deep snow and cold water while lost in the wilderness northeast of Sun Valley.
Todd Peebler's adventure started while he was driving the last leg of a trip to relocate to the Wood River Valley from New York City. On April 2, following the prompts of his GPS unit, he drove his Audi A6 from Mackay toward Trail Creel Summit, not knowing the sometimes-treacherous road is closed in winter. Disoriented from a medical condition, Peebler drove toward Trail Creek Summit and eventually his vehicle got stuck in deep snow.
By TODD PEEBLER
On March 30, I started my drive out West from New York City to Sun Valley, Idaho. It was a nice and easy trip until I crossed the Rockies in Montana, and then the snow came and with it absolutely no visibility. So after three days of driving at least 16 hours a day, I woke up tired but ready to go on Monday morning, April 2. According to my GPS I had just a couple of hundred miles, which for what I was doing daily was nothing—it equated to a busy morning, in my mind. However, I had no idea how busy my life was about to get.
I drive a 2005 Audi A6 and apparently the maps for the Western states have not really been updated on those cars, because as soon as I got to Idaho I got lost. The morning started by my getting pulled over at a checkpoint by a U.S. military soldier armed with an AR-15. He told me I was lost and I agreed with him and asked him how I could get to Sun Valley. He told me a route and when I started on that route my GPS picked it up right away and I was off. The GPS said I had only 34 miles until I hit Sun Valley. All was well. Then my girlfriend, Jackie, called me and she said that I sounded funny, and because there was no one on the road I decided to test my blood sugar, which was a smart move. The count on my blood sugar was 69, which for those of you who know me know that is getting low and action has to be taken. Well I began to drink a Coca-Cola and then my memory goes black. I do not remember what happened for the next two hours but apparently I followed my GPS to the turn and that led me down a mountain pass called Trail Creek Road, which then unbeknownst to me is closed every winter because the road is too hard to maintain as it is so high up.
Well I woke up or came to at about 1:30 p.m.
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