The temperature dropped to minus 50 degrees at Boyne’s Mount Vernon resort in the days before Thanksgiving.
But it was not the cold that kept people away.
A lack of sleep, a lack of food and water, and the threat of wildfires were the main factors.
“You could feel your bones and your skin going numb,” said Chris Hockenberry, who owns the resort.
“It was really tough.
I mean, we had no blankets.
There was nothing to sleep on.
The only thing that kept me warm was the sun.”
After a long night, it was a struggle to keep warm.
“We had to wear our snowshoes to work,” Hockanbruggen said.
“They were just really uncomfortable.”
Hockinberry and his wife, Lauren, had already spent a day hiking the entire length of the resort, from the south end of the mountain to the north end.
“That’s not very easy to do,” Hocking said.
Hocky’s wife and his son were the only ones who were not there for the trek.
Hocking, who has a doctorate in geology, said he has been skiing and snowboarding for years.
But he said he did not know how to deal with the cold.
“If you want to go camping or go for a hike, you have to go with the weather,” Hocks said.
The couple had already made plans for a nice holiday weekend.
Hocks and Hock’s son were staying in the resort with Hockens wife, and Lauren had bought the family a car.
HOCKENBERG: I had a big family plan and then I went to Boyne and it was just a really hard time.
I thought I was going to die.
It was cold and windy.
We couldn’t get any clothes on.
Lauren said she had to go to the local thrift store and get all of her clothes.
HONKENBERGER: I got into a lot of trouble with the authorities and was in jail for five months.
It’s kind of hard to say.
It just seemed like an eternity before we could leave.
The Hocks did not want to leave their home in the Utah desert, which was the home of Boyne mountain.
HACKENBERGE: I was trying to figure out where to go and I was having trouble figuring out where I could go.
It wasn’t that we were going to get caught.
It had been six months since we left, so we had not been out of the desert in over a year.
I felt like I was on a long journey.
HOGANBERGER, HOCKER, &c.: I felt the need to get out of there.
It didn’t feel like I could walk out of that.
They had no money to get away.
Lauren was very careful not to leave any kind of valuables.
“I would never want anybody to lose anything,” she said.
But Hockenhager and Hocker had no intention of leaving their house.
“Even if you could have taken it, we wouldn’t have,” Hocker said.
Lauren had a plan.
She had been planning to take her two sons and her wife with her.
“And I would go,” HOCKANBERG said.
They drove from the resort to the resort in Utah.
Hocked and Hocking drove their rented SUV from Boyne to the east side of the mountains, then back again.
The weather forecast called for an average of -2 to 3 degrees in the afternoon, so Hock and Hocked wanted to be at home by 9:30 p.m.
They got to the parking lot and parked the SUV.
Hocker’s son was the last to get in the car, and he was the only one who was not wearing a seat belt.
HOCKEY: I said, “We’re going to do it.”
Lauren said Hock said, in his sleep, “It’s all good.
It’ll be OK.”
HOCK: I think that’s the first time I thought it was okay.
Lauren thought it would be OK, too.
HALLER: I remember thinking that we should all just go back to our house.
HECKENBER: I don’t know if you remember that scene, but it was the two of us, driving back to the house.
We were in a car, just the two kids in the back.
HALLEMAN: I thought we should go to sleep.
Lauren told Hock that she wanted to stay home.
HELLENBERGES: I went back to sleep, and I thought, ‘I have to get back to work,’ HOCKNER: I didn’t know how much I would be able to survive.
HOBENBERGS: I’m tired of it.
HILLER: You know, the whole day I was driving, I kept thinking about it