“My Brain Was Baked” – 59-Year-Old Texas Dad Etches Epic Story of Survival By Eating Tadpoles After Miscalculated Hike in Desert Lands Isolation of 27 Hours  

Published 11/17/2023, 1:21 PM EST

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Despite portraying fun-filled adventures, the summons of rugged terrains can sometimes have fateful consequences. Amidst the grueling expanse of Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas, a father-daughter duo embarked on an audacious trip a few months ago. However, what started as a routine hiking feat quickly spiraled into a harrowing battle for survival, with the 59-year-old traveler gasping for his life. 

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Disregarding the sweltering mid-June temperatures across the desert, Jeff and Harper Hahn planned a short trek of three to four miles. Tragedy struck as they lost their way, while the prolonged hours of isolation in the wilderness left the hiking tour in distress. Adding to the mystery, they were separated when Jeff found himself strangled in weariness. Although the surrounding conditions worsened with time, to the hiker’s glee, his guardian angels flew in as rescue officials, redefining the dreadful situation. 

Hiking mishap unleashes brutal reality 

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Marked by minimal signs, the barren desert land ensnared the hiking duo as the heat soared up to a scorching 107 degrees. Transforming the park into a blistering convection oven, the circumstances became too dire to handle. Victim to the perils of heat distress, Jeff encountered painful leg cramps, as a result of their miscalculated water carriage. 

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While his discomfort escalated to debilitating full-body spasms, it eventually restricted his mobility to mere short distances. As they stood helpless, standard without cell service, Jeff decided to break up the family hiking tour, asking his daughter to go ahead and call for help. Facing the daunting unknown of their distance from the trailhead, Harper forged ahead, leaving him behind at a rocky outcropping. 

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But the plan seemed to be just the beginning of a long, stressful night ahead, as Jeff anticipated a voice of hope with every passing second but failed to hold his patience soon. 

Rescue mission with renewed trail of life

In defiance of the conventional wisdom to stay put when lost, the hiking enthusiast took a different path. Combating searing pain, he continued to move, driven by the hope of closing the gap between him and potential aid. On the other hand, the rescue team failed to locate him in the pre-known spot, forcing them to expand the search operation.

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Jeff’s agonizing journey led him to an old mining shack where, amidst desolation, two sealed 1-liter water bottles lay as his first miraculous lifeline amidst the adversities. Alone in the darkness, his desperate footsteps traversed another hurdle as he fell down, leading to a dreadful fracture. Magically, fate intervened yet again, presenting a fortuitous pool of water collected as he found precious sustenance in these dark hours. 

 

Feeding on tadpoles grabbed by his hat, Jeff waited on a lawn chair, hoping the helicopters would locate him. And after 27 hours of consistent battles, they finally succeeded. Fighting through the unfavorable weather, State Park police officer Jacob Barton recalled the exhilarating hiking trip to save a soul. “It was the hottest I have ever been,” he recalled, adding, “My brain was baked.” 

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Reportedly, Jeff suffered rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure due to the extreme hiking conditions. Overcoming his prolonged recovery, Jeff Hahn’s latest updates claimed he was back on track. Marked by days spent in the hospital and months of healing after, the thrill-seeking dad emerged, while his 25-year-old daughter assisted him along. In the wake of his miraculous survival, Jeff intended to return to the mystical realm of Big Bend Park, aiming to replace the water bottles that symbolized his extraordinary salvation.

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Written by:

Sanchari Bhaduri

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Sanchari Bhaduri is a Viral Sports Moments writer at EssentiallySports. Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from IGNOU, she embarked on her content creation career in 2015 with freelance projects. Her previous role involved her serving as a Content Manager for Reddit.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla

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