I’m currently on an extended vacation visiting my family in Arizona, and although I miss the greenery of my home state, I’ve taken advantage of the sunshine and dry hiking weather. Every time I visit Arizona I make it a point to hike a popular trail near Phoenix called Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw Peak.
Compared to the trails in Washington where I live, this trail would be considered small. The elevation is small, and the distance is short, but the gain happens quickly. The climb kicked my butt this time around, but I did make it to the summit quicker than I had in the past. I normally hike this with family, but this time I went solo.
It took me 45 minutes to get to the top, rested for a few, and back down for a RT total of an hour and 40 minutes. Ish…
One thing that sets this hike aside from what I’m used to is the uneven terrain. My preference for a trail is one that has a steady and smooth incline. The rocks, and stones make Piestewa Peak more difficult because it requires more energy to step up onto. This hike also requires more mental attention, I find myself thinking of my next step before I even take it.
Sometimes, when the path has a rock-less option I take that path.
I find it difficult to make the brown and dusty landscape look pretty, but that’s because my preference is always green. I was able to capture a few good shots before the dust completely engulfed the valley below, it was incredibly windy this day.
The wind was so bad I had to stop a few times to blink the dust out of my eyes.
This windy afternoon was the precursor to a “storm” that was coming. Hours later rain was falling from the sky like a flock of seagulls towards a loaf of bread. When I come to Arizona the weather is mostly consistent, and rarely deviates from sunshine. This day was completely unpredictable starting with sun, moving to wind, and ending with rain and thunder.
The perfect metaphor for life, nothing is predictable.
Learning to expect the unexpected has helped me cope when things don’t go as planned. How boring would life be if everything followed a schedule, or if we never let go of control to simply trust the process? This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t plan for things, but rather evaluate how we react when things don’t go as planned.
I wasn’t expecting overcast on this hike, but I welcomed it with open arms. I wasn’t expecting to feel like I was going to die on this hike, but I accepted the challenge to whip myself back into shape. I wasn’t expecting rain in Arizona, but I sucked in the smell of it like a brand new vacuum.
There is something magical about the smell of warm rain.
Rain is invigorating. Cleaning the air and washing away dirt, it feels like a fresh start.
It would be remiss of me not to update those of you that haven’t heard the latest on my cat. He is recovering amazingly well after his surgery, and will get his final evaluation on Saturday. He will also get to take off his cone of shame, and get his stitches removed.
He has been given a fresh start.
The little Houdini escaped the cone multiple times, is eating like a full grown grizzly, and is successfully urinating. I’d say he’s well on his way. Thank you again to those that helped this process. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as he undergoes one more procedure when I get back home.
Q: How do you react when things don’t go as planned? Meditation has helped me to react less aggressively.