PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS/AP) — An Oregon man who was rescued after five days stuck in deep snow with his dog and says he survived by eating Taco Bell sauce packets will be enjoying a year of free Taco Bell.
Jeremy Taylor’s 4-wheel-drive vehicle got stuck Feb. 24 in snow on a U.S. Forest Service road as he headed to do some off-road driving in the wilderness outside the central Oregon city of Bend.
As night fell, Taylor, 36, decided to sleep in his car with his Australian shepherd, Ally, and hike out the next day, his aunt, Denise Tremaine said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
Taylor started off on Feb. 25 but after a mile, Taylor had to turn around because the dog was sinking in the deep snow and could not continue.
Taylor carried Ally back to the car and the two hunkered down there, sharing a sleeping bag to keep warm. Taylor had a full tank of gas and was able to blast the heat briefly when it got unbearably cold and ate a few packets of taco sauce he had with him, she said.
He and the dog drank melted ice, but she said she does not think Taylor fed the dog hot sauce.
On March 1, a snowmobiler found Taylor. He and his dog were brought out of the woods on a snow tractor and were reunited with family and friends.
After news of the story broke, Taylor wrote on Facebook, “Taco Bell fire sauce saves lives!”
In response to the story, Taco Bell has reportedly offered Jeremy one year of free Taco Bell. The Oregonian Live reported the chain made this statement:
“We’re very glad Jeremy and Ally are okay,” the company said in a statement this week. “We know our sauce packets are amazing, but this takes it to a whole new level. We’re in touch with Jeremy and have sent him a well-deserved care package, a year’s supply of Taco Bell, and of course, all the sauce packets that come with it.”
Over the years, many people have gotten stranded on Oregon’s snowbound rural roads — and the outcome isn’t always so good.
In 2000, a 29-year-old man was discovered by snowmobilers clinging to life in his car, which was completely buried by snow in the Deschutes National Forest near Bend. Thomas Wade Truett had been stuck for 16 days in five feet (1.5 meters) of snow, surviving on orange juice and almond M&Ms. He had written a goodbye letter to his parents.
Six years later, a family of four headed home to San Francisco from a Thanksgiving trip to Seattle and Portland missed a turn and wound up stranded for a week on a logging road after trying to take a short cut over a mountain range.
The husband, James Kim, tried to hike for help and died after walking 20 miles (32 kilometers) in freezing temperatures. His wife and two young daughters were found alive in the car after a nine-day ordeal.
A Montana man starved to death in 1994 after getting stuck on the same road in winter.