"I never cried until after I got the news that he was fine," says Cathy Peckens, whose son, Neal, was one of the hikers missing.
Neal Peckens, from Boonsboro, and Jason Hiser, from Cumberland, were lost in the park for several days, but she didn't give up hope.
Cathy has been staying at her son's home in Herndon, caring for her young granddaughter while other family went to Montana.
She says Peckens and Hiser camped out as planned last Tuesday night. But when they set off the next day, storms rolled in.
As they walked a narrow trail on the edge of a ravine, Peckens fell. There was no way to climb back up, so Hiser climbed down with his friend.
"The weather was really getting gruesome, so they decided to climb down the ravine and so they bushwacked their way down to the bottom of it to get out some of the wind and try to get a little better shelter," says Cathy.
They stayed in the camp for three days, hearing helicopters pass overhead that couldn't see them.
"They were living on like a quarter of a Cliff bar at a time, they had rationed their food," she says. "They were taking six hours turns of shifts to keep a fire going. The weather was not cooperating, they could not maintain a fire."
Despite a long search, Cathy said she knew her son was still alive.
"I never felt in my gut that something catastrophic had happened to him," she says. "I did not believe the worst was going to happen."
And she was shown to be right when rescuers on the ground reached them and got them to safety.