It started out as a casual stroll in one of the nation's most beautiful parks - but Cathy Frye, it ended in a four-day ordeal which saw her lost in scorched landscape, wandering naked because of the heat, and delirious for lack of water.
Frye, a journalist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, went for a walk with fellow journalist and husband Rick McFarland in Texas's remote 300,000-acre Big Bend Ranch State Park.
The couple had been camping at the Big Bend National Park, but the government shutdown forced a change of plan, and a park ranger suggested they head for the State Park.
During a walk along the trail, the pair overshot a turning, and also managed to lose the bum-bag full of food they had brought. Desperately hot, they soaked their clothes in water from a waterfall, but then freezing temperatures at night almost caused them hypothermia.
Lost for two days, Frye, a mother-of-two, realised she could go on no longer and her husband, McFarland, set out alone to find help, leaving her behind for two more days.
McFarland was able to find his car, by taking a long distance snapshot of a truck in the distance driving towards a carpark and following its direction, and he then managed to drive to a ranger's station and help launch a search-and-rescue operation.
According to US media reports, Frye was found sunburned, dehydrated and disoriented - but alive. She had stripped naked because of the intense heat and bruises and cactus thorns covered her body.
She remained in hospital two days later, but in good spirits as she recovered from severe dehydration.
Frye and McFarland met at the Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock.