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Sedona Arizona hiking trail Look! An easy trail!

I write in pain, thanks to a pair of Sedona hiking trails that, perhaps, weren’t meant to be hiked back to back!  But my pain also brought with it a lesson.

(Click on pics for full-sized HD versions–you’ll be glad you did!)

Pleasant hike by a stream ... sorta

Pleasant hike by a stream … sorta

Went to experience this famous hiking destination. Not particularly skilled in self-propelled off-roading–or any type of off-roading–we settled upon the highly-rated and easy-hiking-scored Baldwin Trail, seen above.  It was easy to hike, with modest elevation changes and mostly flat ground.

Arizona butte

Not the ugliest terrain on Earth!

Mysterious headless hiker found on the trail

Mysterious headless hiker found on the trail

After an hour or two of hiking (I really don’t know how long it took, and that’s the best part—it was so nice to ignore my phone and enjoy nature!), we found ourselves ever closer to these beautiful rock formations….

Impressive view, even from down here!

Impressive view, even from down here!

Hmmm ... what must the view be like from up there?

Hmmm … what must the view be like from up there?

However long it had been, upon arriving at the base of the mountain hill rock what the heck is it? spot, we noticed several people, high above us, scaling the rocky heights.  Thoughts: “Well, it appears that, after making this long trek, many people have energy to climb this thing.  How bad can it be?”

I was unaware that there was a parking lot five minutes away.

[Amazing photo-documentation of how difficult and treacherous it was to scale the steep, occasionally-scrambling-on-all-fours rock face was completely lost because I spent 99% of my mental energy wondering how I was going to not die rather than how it might make an interesting blog post]

I don’t think of myself as particularly afraid of heights, but half way up, looking far below me at a rather steep incline consisting largely of smooth rock that looked far steeper from the current angle than it did from below, I needed to pause for a moment, sit down, and wonder if I really wanted to continue.  I mean, I’d already seen plenty of great scenery from below, and I had the photos to document it….

Plus I was freakin’ tired.  I was majorly out of breath. My leg muscles were burning, and even if I did make it to the top and down, I would still have almost an hour-long hike to return to the car.

Turning around made sense.

Except: how often does turning around, due solely to discomfort, lead to anything you’re proud of?

View from Cathedral rock, facing east

Worth it

View from Cathedral rock facing West

I would have gone all the way to the top, but, you know, vertical rock face and all….

I had planned for a leisurely hike, just to see the scenery.

Instead, I saw a challenge, and asked, What must it be like?

It was amazing.  One decision turned a mere outing, a pretty and leisurely walk, into a memory.

Is there some steep obstacle that you, also, fear? 

What would happen if you surmounted it?


About Alyssa (60 Articles)
Author of The Real You Is Skinny (the cult weight-loss book) and several professional publications which have been well received but would bore you to death, Alyssa Dahl loves writing about health and weight loss. Since writing TRYIS, she certified as a Clinical Weight Loss Practitioner and decided that this website needed to happen. She also occasionally says silly things on Twitter (@AlyssaMDahl) and loves to answer questions and comments---so please leave one below!
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