A Morpeth resident has completed a grand adventure in the USA.
And there was a dramatic end to the trip for Louiza Caulfield and the 10 others in the group as their bus broke down on the way to a celebration night in Las Vegas and they were rescued in the stifling heat by a sheriff.
After nearly losing her son Felix – who was born four years ago at the RVI in Newcastle weighing just 1lb 6oz – and having a near-death experience herself as she was seriously ill at the same time, she began doing physical challenges to raise money for good causes.
She progressed from 5k and 10k runs and open-water swimming to a skydive and then signed up for a week-long trek across the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Louiza, who did the expedition to raise money for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, was a little nervous before heading to the iconic location because she had never slept in a tent before and was travelling there on her own and then walking with people she was going to meet for the first time.
She said: “The Grand Canyon was an impressive sight from the top, but I really enjoyed seeing the hidden parts once we descended to the bottom.
“The heat was intense and so we trekked from one bit of shade to another at intervals throughout each day.
“I always used factor 50 suncream, but I still came back with a noticeable tan.
“The tour guides were amazing in helping to make it such a special trek and one of them was Johnny Depp’s cousin.
“It was a fantastic experience and everyone in the group said it was life-changing because it took us away from the every-day little things we get caught up in and enabled us all to see some of the true wonders of nature.
“Everyone looked after each other and we all got on really well.
“Each night, we had a good chat and ate marshmallows around the camp fire.
“I needed help with the tents at first, but by the end of the trek I was a pro at putting them up.
“The trek has made me want to spend a lot more time out in nature and I’m already thinking about what I want to do next.”
The group was on an American Greyhound bus when it broke down on its way to the famous city in Nevada.
After seven hours stranded on the interstate, help finally came when a local sheriff spotted them and organised police car rides to a location for another bus to pick them up.
Louiza, who has two other children – Theo, eight, and Ruby, seven – with husband Martin, has raised about £800 for the mental health charity.
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/lou-Grandcanyon