Stein was lucky to have a few Rice Krispie treats in her car, along with a partially eaten sweet roll. She had cat food with her for Nikki but she was still worried about the cold temperature. She also had to get water, but what she did was scoop snow into a can and let it melt on the dashboard of her car.
"I keep myself very calm, which surprised me. Of course, if you raise five kids, you know," Stein said. "What will be, will be. You just got to accept it." By staying calm she was able to figure out what she needed to do was stay warm and hydrated, and that is what kept her alive.
She burried herself in the backseat under a pile of clothes, with Nikki tucked in with her. She rationed her food, hoping to make it last as long as she needed but she was running out. "When my Rice Krispies treat was getting close, I thought, '[the cat food] might be good,' " Stein said. "I was looking out the window for foliage or something else to eat."
Luckily it didn't come to that. Five days after she got lost, some hikers came across her car and called out to her. Dan Higbee said that "I heard a voice coming from the back seat of the car very faint. [She said] 'No, I'm not okay I've been here since Tuesday and I need help.'"
The hikers got her water and a sandwich, and were able to reunite her with her granddaughter who had been frantically searching for her. The missing persons alert that was issued had people searching the interstate, but because of her wrong turn they hadn't found her.
Her granddaughter says the "She means the world to absolutely every single one of us. We love her to pieces. She's right back to her normal self."
Even though Stein went through quite the ordeal she's not ready to hand in her car keys just yet. She plans on continuing to drive, but hopefully she prepares her car with an emergency kit just in case.