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Family survived 24 hours stranded in Utah desert

Desert Symphony
Bryce Canyon National Park is shown before the start of the Utah Symphony performance Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Bryce Canyon, Utah. The Utah Symphony hopes to complement the beauty of Utah’s soaring red rocks and canyons with free desert performances near Utah’s national parks his weekend. The 75-piece orchestra is set to performed Friday near Bryce Canyon and Saturday near Zion National Parks. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The quick family outing turned into to a horrific ordeal for one father and his two sons.

Brent Kolan and his two boys lost their way Saturday evening during a ride following a racing event in the west desert. After getting lost, their UTV and two motorcycles ran out of fuel.

“I had been out there 50 times. Don’t know how we got so turned around and the wind came up, “Kolan said. “When the first kid’s bike ran out of gas, I thought ‘Man, this isn’t good.”

As the sun set and the family stayed put for the evening.

“Dug a hole like a dog would do, “Kolan said. “We got inside there and tried to keep each other warm until morning.”

The next morning brought many other challenges, no water or shelter for the family to hide from the blazing sun. The trio searched for a spot to gather themselves.

“There was absolutely no shade, no anything there, “Kolan said. “I figured the best way was to get out of the sun and see if we could find a dirt road or something that looks like civilization.”

Kolan and his sons found some trees and a creek luckily.

“In the morning we got up and started walking again,” said Destry Kolan, Brent’s 11-year-old-son. “Found shade, got up, found some water and started walking again.”

Sunday afternoon, a search and rescue helicopter spotted the family’s abandoned vehicle’s and track marks.

After being lost for nearly 24 hours, the family was found and brought to safety.

As he looks back on the events of the weekend, Brent realizes he is fortunate. He is also thankful for the work and prayers of dozens of volunteers, strangers, and rescuers who helped the family find their way home.

“I don’t know what we would have done, “Kolan said. “Desert races are put on by volunteers, for community. They will give you their left foot if they have to.