Anthony Hawes eats his first meal at home Tuesday. His phone hasn't stopped ringing since his dramatic rescue Monday, after spending nearly a day stuck in the mud along the banks of the Loosahatchie River.
"I couldn't get out of there," he said, "because the more I moved, the more I sunk."
Going back to the spot where he was stuck, he crouched and reflected about how could have lost his life, and remembered the moment when he realized he was stuck.
"I tried to get out right away, he said, and there wasn't no getting out."
Hawes said he had a lot of feelings through his ordeal. "I'm panicking, and the whole time, I'm praying to God."
As darkness fell, Hawes worried about animals in the woods like coyotes. He said he started to think he wasn't going to make it out alive. "I figured I was going to die there Sunday night," he said.
Hawes protected himself from both the intense heat of the day and from mosquitoes by covering himself with the mud. Even though the 50-year-old considers himself to be an outdoorsman, he said the situation taught him an important lessons.
"You learn from your mistakes," he said. He said he should have been carrying a cell phone, and should have told someone where he was going.
I asked why he was covered head to toe with mud when rescued. He said he covered himself in mud to both keep cool and keep the mosquitoes off.
"I'll learn until the day I die," he Hawes said.