Two recent episodes that featured couples becoming lost in the desert ended completely differently — one safely, the other tragically.


On July 28, an elderly Helendale couple had left National Trails Highway to take shortcut, but the dirt road had been recently closed by law enforcement due to area criminal activity. The couple in their 80's headed down a dirt, but after two or three miles the sandy road got too soft. When they attempted to turn around their vehicle, they became stuck.


With 100-plus degree temperatures, the couple left their vehicle to get help. After about a half mile, the man collapsed, so the woman carried on. After a short walk she fell down an embankment and landed at the bottom of the Mojave Riverbed.


A man, who was exploring the area, found the unconscious man. As he regained consciousness, he mumbled, "wife, wife." Emergency services workers were contacted, and the couple was saved.


A week later, on Aug.1, a 28-year-old Las Vegas woman, her 11-year-old son and their dog set out for a one-day camping trip to Death Valley. Along the way, their Jeep suffered a flat tire, which the woman changed. But they carried on and got stuck in sand at the China Lake Weapons center.


 For several days they subsisted on bottled water, Pop Tarts and cheese sandwiches, but their rations were used up. On Aug. 6, deputies from San Bernardino and Inyo counties found the trio. The woman and her dog had survived, but her son had died.