Nightly News   |  August 17, 2013

Follow in Hannah Anderson’s footsteps

See the rugged trail the teen and her alleged captor trekked in the Idaho wilderness before authorities rescued her.  NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> one week after her rescue in the mountains of idaho , 16-year-old hannah anderson turned out for another fund-raiser for her family today in san diego . it was a church car wash , and hannah thanked people for her heche. we have more of our exclusive reporting tonight on the rescue, which came about as a result of a sighting by a group of horseback riders in the idaho wilderness. nbc 's kevin tibbles journeyed back to that area with them.

>> reporter: for years, this group of seasoned riders has saddled up and headed oud o ed out into the gnarly backcountry of idaho .

>> every state claims they have the steepest, roughest mountains, but they haven't been to idaho .

>> reporter: the group agreed to take nbc news two days into the wilderness to show just how far hannah anderson had been taken by her captor. a trip that included nine riders and numerous pack horses hauling everything from food to sleeping gear. grueling even on horseback, let alone for a 16-year-old girl on foot.

>> it's like stepping on marbles, and you slip and you can injure your ankle.

>> reporter: and it was on a dry, hot day just like this one that mike and mary young and christa and mark john came across a man and a teenaged girl, hiking in rough terrain some 20 miles from the nearest paved road .

>> but this is it. everything down in here, primitive. that's a hell of a hike with a big rip sack. yeah. but they came up this and went up that trail there.

>> reporter: something was unsettling about the encounter, something the riders kept asking themselves -- what were they doing way out here? and there was something else.

>> she looked scared. the look i seen on her face was pretty much pure fear. i didn't like what i seen on his face.

>> reporter: the group says they rarely, if ever, run into anyone on their fishing trips into glacier-fed morehead lake, which is why they never forgot this out of place couple and why they called police as soon as they saw the amber alert .

>> oh, my gosh, it was her.

>> reporter: a chance encounter this group and one lucky young woman will likely never of forget. kevin tibbles, nbc news, morehead lake, idaho .