It's the best possible ending to a story that could easily have taken a tragic turn: Missing 17-year-old skier Nicholas Joy has been found alive and well after spending two days in the freezing cold wilderness of Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. Joy says he was trying to take a shortcut through the woods after a backcountry ski trail ended when he got lost -- so lost that 48 hours of search efforts conducted by the warden service, the Sugarloaf ski patrol, the Maine Forest Service, the U.S. Border Patrol, area rescue squads, Carrabassett Valley Academy ski volunteers, and others turned up nothing.
In the end, it took just one man -- who wasn't even part of the official rescue team -- to get the job done: Joseph Paul, a volunteer firefighter and snowmobiler from Warwick, Massachusetts, saw Joy's story on the news and figured he'd take a ride around the mountain himself.
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He discovered Joy on a trail known as the Caribou Pond Road, huddled in a cave he built with snow and hemlock branches for warmth. Joy was cold and hungry but otherwise in pretty good shape -- he'd been drinking fresh water from a nearby stream and walking towards the sound of snowmobiles during the day.
Some pretty smart decisions for a 17-year-old kid, right? But here's my favorite part -- Joy says he learned those skills from watching a survival show on TV. Huh! So TV really can be educational. Life-saving, even.
No word on which TV show Joy was referring to, but I'm gonna guess it doesn't star anyone whose names involve the words Kardashian or Honey Boo Boo.
Would your teen know what to do if he got lost in the snowy woods?
Image via Gahlord/Flickr