MADRID TOWNSHIP — What was supposed to be a drive on a dirt road to try a new Jeep off-road Tuesday turned into an overnight stay in the woods, lots of publicity and a ticket for a Rangeley man.

The Maine Warden Service had been searching for Travis S. Mosher, 42, of Rangeley and Douglass Richmond, 49, of Madrid Township since late Tuesday night after a report they were missing. 

“I got a new Jeep and I wanted to try it off-road,” Mosher said.

He drove his Jeep Liberty to Richmond’s house and the two headed toward Mud Pond.

Mosher, who moved to Maine in March from Wyoming, said he didn’t know the dirt road turned into an ATV trail. 

The Maine Warden Service issued him a summons Wednesday on a charge of operating a motor vehicle on an ATV trail.

“I wouldn’t have been doing that if I had known what it was. I will pay the ticket,” Mosher said. “There has to be some accountability for what happened.”

Around dusk, the Jeep became hung up on a rock and couldn’t get traction on the tires, he said.

They were two to three miles from Richmond’s house.

“We were too far from the house and we tried to dig out but we couldn’t,” he said. “It was so dark because it had rained and we couldn’t walk out. We figured the smartest thing was to stay in the Jeep.”

They had plenty of clothes and sleeping bags because he keeps emergency gear in the Jeep.

“I didn’t get cold at all,” he said.

He couldn’t get his phone charged but cellphone service is spotty in the area.

About an hour after daylight Wednesday, Mosher hiked to Richmond’s house to get a shovel and a come-along.

He was surprised to find several Maine wardens, a television news crew and a crew from the cable television show, “North Woods Law” there.

Richmond’s wife had gotten nervous when the men didn’t return from their outing, Mosher said.

He was also surprised that so many people had messaged and texted to express concern and to see if they were all right.

“Wardens were very efficient and helpful. There are no hard feelings for the ticket,” he said. “We are fine. We were never in any danger. It was just a long night.”

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