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Injured biker was stranded 8 days in GA woods, reports say. Then someone heard his cries

A Georgia man braved the elements for eight days after crashing his bike in the north Georgia mountains, news outlets report.

He thought hope was lost — until a passerby heard his cries.

“You have some really mixed emotions while you’re out there,” Kirk Wintersteen, 68, told WANF from his hospital room. “I thought I could certainly be found and when it got to the last two days or so, I kind of gave up.”

The Cumming man was riding his motorcycle home March 25 when he lost control and crashed in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Blairsville, near the Georgia-North Carolina border, the news station reported.

He broke his ankle in the crash, leaving him unable to walk.

Without food or cell service, Wintersteen spent the next several days stranded in the dense forest where he braved stormy weather and freezing temperatures, WSB-TV reported. He crawled and drank water from a nearby stream in hopes that someone would find him.

“I may die here if I’m not able to get my leg out from under the motorcycle,” he recalled to the station. “I was eventually able to do that”

“I started thinking about survival at that point,” Wintersteen said.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests are two national forests in Georgia “featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties,” according to the US Forest Service. The land boasts 850 miles of hiking trails, dozens of campgrounds, streams and other natural scenery.

Wintersteen’s friends and family launched an intensive search after he did not return from his ride, according to Jake King, whose mother is Winstersteen’s significant other.

“I immediately went to the last place that we knew he was going to which is … like a biker hangout,” King told Neighborhood TV. “After a while, the word started getting out and Kirk has a lot of friends, many of them motorcycle riders, and they somehow started getting my phone number and … finding out how they could help.”

After more than a week of searching, fellow bikers heard Wintersteen’s shouts for help, according to a Facebook page organized for the search effort. He was found on April 2 and has been recovering at a hospital since.

His condition was not known as of Tuesday, April 18.

Wintersteen told WANF he’s grateful to have been found alive.

“God gave me more time,” he told the station.

Blairsville is about 100 miles northeast of Atlanta.

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Originally published

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