Snow-bound abroad, one American family was rescued this November by an off-duty Canadian Ranger and military veteran.
According to CBC News, Lynn Marchessault and her two children left their home in Georgia on Nov. 10 to drive with their pets and household belongings to Alaska, where her military husband was stationed.
As the family undertook their long trek — a journey that clocks in at approximately 73 hours and 4,400 miles with no breaks — Marchessault began to have some misgivings.
A military veteran familiar with no shortage of uncertain situations herself, Marchessault quickly discovered her pickup truck was not up to the task of carting a U-Haul trailer cross-continent.
Her summer tires, wearing down in the snow and beginning to lose traction, would need to go.
After stopping to purchase some new snow tires, the family hit the road again.
The further north they drove, however, the heavier the snowfall became. As the snowfall became a white-out snowstorm, rather than risk endangering the lives of her children or herself, Marchessault knew that a more experienced driver was needed to complete the treacherous drive.
The mother pulled over to a highway lodge by Pink Mountain, British Columbia, Canada, and desperately took to Facebook for help, hoping against all hope that someone would answer the call.
Thankfully, someone did.
Gary Bath, a Canadian ranger, saw the Facebook post circulating about Marchessault’s situation. Bath knew he had to do something, despite living over a thousand miles away from the family’s final destination.
“I didn’t care how far it was, I just knew they needed help and they had a few short days to hit the border before they were going to get in trouble,” the ranger told CBC News, referring to the restrictions in place on Americans traveling through Canada to Alaska which allow just 4-6 days of travel.
After a full day of planning by talking on the phone and video chatting with Bath and his wife, Marchessault and her husband felt confident letting Bath take the wheel.
The very next day, Bath and his wife Selena traveled to the Pink Mountain lodge to find the family, the Baths’ car filled with extra winter clothes and other necessities for the trip.
Selena Bath then drove her vehicle home, while her husband accompanied the Marchessault family the last 1,056 miles to the Alaskan border in their car, expertly navigating the snowy roads.
With the Canadian Ranger in the driver’s seat, the family made it to their destination safely and Marchessault’s children were reunited with their father.
“Thanks to everyone who was involved in donating and helping out,” Bath said to CBC News. “I don’t know if we would be able to finish it and get the job done if it wasn’t for everyone chipping in.”
Marchessault was incredibly vocal in thanking the Baths for their willingness to step into a “scary situation” with a group of strangers.
“I know the choice I made was a risky one,” she posted on Facebook. “I had to decide if my kids were safer in my hands or in the hands of a kind stranger who had experience driving in this weather.”
“I felt that I made the right [choice],” Marchessault told CBC News.
The family hopes to stop and see the Baths again when they make their way back down through Canada.
“I told Gary that he and Selena are our new adopted Canadian family.”
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