A short walk before breakfast turned into a 36-hour ordeal and subsequent helicopter rescue that Elise Héon had no plans to embark upon before it happened.
"It wasn't intended to be a big hike," Héon, 50, told CBC News in a telephone interview on Sunday, two days after her dramatic rescue.
The chief ophthalmologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children was walking alone when she got stranded last Thursday, on a narrow ledge some 200 metres above the bottom of the Oak Creek Canyon, just south of Flagstaff, Ariz.
She didn't have her cellphone because she didn’t think she was going to get any reception.
Somehow she lost track of the path she had started out on.
Eventually she figured she had to travel back down and she ended up stuck on the side of the canyon.
""It was quite an adventure, but I was extremely lucky," Héon said.
She had no food and no water. Héon said she also felt cold at times, as she yelled for help during her hours on the side of the canyon.
"The first day, I didn't manage to get anyone's attention," she said.
"So through the night, I just waited for the sun to rise, so at least if there was a helicopter they could see me."
That next day, she managed to yell long enough to draw a returning bark from a dog in the area.
"I'm told the dog's name is Pebble and I made Pebble bark more and more," Héon said.
"And then the owner came out and I yelled: 'Help me, call a rescue.'"
It took a few hours for rescue personnel to get to her, as the helicopter couldn’t get to her directly.
A team of rock-climbing rescuers gathered at the top of the canyon and a man rappelled down the cliff to rescue her.
"He tied me up and we rappelled back up the canyon, just slowly, but talked all the way up," said Héon, who said that her rescuer kept her calm on the way to top of the canyon.
But it wasn't over.
"As soon as I got to a certain point, they just changed my harness, hooked me up and pushed me away. And they just said: 'Enjoy the view,'" she said.
As the helicopter took her away, she waved to the cameras that had gathered to capture the dramatic event. But Héon said she hasn't looked at those images herself.
"I don’t really want to see that," she said.
Héon said she feels lucky and also grateful for the people that came to her rescue.
She also said she is sorry for the concern she caused when her family and friends were notified that she was missing.