A missing snowmobiler says he could hear and see planes searching for him throughout the four days he was lost in the northern Manitoba wilderness.
Christopher Rodney Traverse turned up alive and well Wednesday night after getting lost around the Lake St. Martin First Nation reserve, approximately 255 kilometres north of Winnipeg, on March 28.
The 24-year-old said he walked four days to get to a highway and flagged down a bus. He then called RCMP himself from a store in Gypsumville about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
He ordered a juicy cheeseburger and fries at the store, but police arrived so quickly he had to get his first meal in four days to go.
Traverse was reunited with his family at the RCMP detachment before spending the night in hospital to have his fluids replenished.
Sgt. Line Karpish said Traverse was dressed for the weather and suffered few ill effects.
"We're told he did not have frostbite," Karpish said.
Traverse got lost after separating from his friends. He mistakenly rode 64 kilometres north down the river system, Karpish said.
He told police he built a shelter the first night using the snowmobile, twigs and branches after running out of gas. He slept that night through a storm without food, water or matches.
His dad, George Traverse, told CBC News his son was a fan of documentaries.
"He liked to watch wilderness survival stories," he said.
Kept walking until he reached highway
Gypsumville store owner Bob Szklaruk got the surprise of his life when Christopher got off the bus.
"The guy comes in, and he asked for the phone. And he says he's been lost," Szklaruk said.
"So I say, 'What's your name?' He says, 'Traverse.' I said, 'Hold on. Are you the same Traverse they're looking for who's been lost for four days?'
Traverse told police he walked 12 hours until he reached a highway, where he flagged down a Greyhound bus to Gypsumville.
"It's definitely on the unusual side of matters," said Karpish. "[He's] a lucky man."
George said it was an emotional reunion with his son.
"I didn't say anything. I was just crying and hugging him, and my emotions just took over," the father said. "This was a happy ending to it."