I was very blessed this past week to have traveled to Arizona to spend some time with my daughter. Prior to my arrival, we had discussed hiking, and I stated that I wanted to try a more challenging hike. Destination – Picacho Peak. Now, for those of you that know me, know that I am afraid of heights. Yes, I am that person that usually cries on the ferris wheel. As we traveled on a journey, we shared our destination with a few people. Their response was with concern and “oh, that is the place with the cables”. We didn’t think anymore about it and off to hike we went. Of course, we started off with a few photo ops and up the trail we traveled.
Now, I am not a “seasoned” hiker, but I can hold my own. As we began our trek up the mountain, we didn’t realize the amazing things that were unfolding. Beginning with our first stop in the saddle, which is the space between the two peaks. As we took a few more photos, I stated to my daughter that I thought it was the destination. I was quickly corrected. Two younger guys were on their way back down the mountain. We asked them if they made it to the top, their response “too sketchy, so we turned around”. I looked at my daughter, like what did we get ourselves into.
Onward and upward we went. At this point in time, we met a gentleman who appeared to be about 65-70 years of age. He was hiking the peak for his 490th time. WOW!!!!! Needless to say, he flew past us, as we came upon our first set of “cables”. Now, these cables are not anything that you hook onto, they are just cables that you hold onto. Some of these places had a slight incline and some of them had a straight up incline. As we approached the third set of cables, my daughter turned to me and asked me if I wanted to turn around. Truth be told – YES! My response – NO, let’s keep going. Was I scared? YES! Did I talk to myself, and convince myself that I could continue on? YES!
Journey on….we met two other gentlemen. If any of you have watched the movie “A Walk In The Woods” – these two men reminded us of those characters. One of them, with the English accent, had hiked the Peak before; as his friend was attempting it for the first time. They let us pass and further up the trail, we chatted with them again, and they mentioned to us that the first-timer wanted to quit because he was afraid of heights, but persevered because he saw us continuing on and said, “if they can do it, so can I”.
Eventually we reached the summit, which is the highest point. 3370 feet up. We did it!!!!!! What an amazing moment! After taking a few more photos, which truly did not do the scenery justice, it was time to head back down. Those cables that were nerve-wracking, challenging, and adventuresome on the way up, were the same if not worse on the way back down. Once we completed the hike, which took us 4 hours and 5.1 miles, we took a moment and reflected. At that moment, my daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, when I asked you if you wanted to turn around and you said no. I was really hoping you would have said yes!”
Who knew? Who knew that that hike was going to be a day of challenges. A day of meeting strangers on a trail, only to look at them as new found friends-angels in passing. A day of pushing people that we knew and didn’t know to their limits. A day of pushing ourselves past our fear and to a point of total euphoria and gratitude for the moment that transformed ourselves to sit back and look at the achievements that we had reached. This trip was an opportunity for me to reboot. Little did I know that this reboot was more then just a mini vacation to catch my breath – this reboot was a spiritual one that pushed me into a realm of adventure that I KNOW has only just begun!
Take the challenge and make it the adventure and remember to embrace the adventure that may become the challenge for they are both a gift!