I didn't end up going camping over Spring Break. I know, I know, I may have had fun and it may have been a good experience, but I wasn't up for it. Instead, I had a date with my uncle and lunch with my grandma, so I spent the time with loved ones... just not sleeping outside on the ground.
The next day, my family decided to go hiking in the same canyon in a nearby town. There is a popular hiking trial that leads to a landmark called "The Lighthouse." The Lighthouse is a rock formation that looks like a lighthouse, of course, and the trail is fairly simple.
Although it was a bit hot outside (around 95 degrees), the trail wasn't that tiring or difficult. We each slung a large water bottle over our shoulders and wore old tennis shoes. We walked at a casual pace, keeping up conversation and admiring God's creation.
The canyon was beautiful.
I love walking. If it was safer, I would go on frequent late night walks. I love breathing in the cool night air and feeling the breeze on my face. Walking brings me peace.
Despite the simplicity of the trail, I had a fear that conflicted with this particular day of hiking.
Everything was fairly simple and easy the first few miles, but the last section before we arrived to the lighthouse was straight up a cliff covered in sand and loose gravel. It was steep, it was slippery, and it scared me half to death.
In fact, after we got through the worst part, there was another mini-cliff to climb and I gave up almost immediately. The idea of feeling any more terror turned me off completely. "No way am I doing that again," I said decidedly. "Y'all go on ahead. I'll stay right here." My heart was pounding, my hands were trembling, I felt dizzy... I hate heights.
My mom could tell I was struggling, so she nodded and I sat in the shade while they finished the trail up to the lighthouse. Some people might be upset with that sort of defeat, because yes, I was being defeated by the height, but honestly, I didn't care. I decided I would much rather feel safe and protected than risk my safety for a feeling of triumph. So I stayed.
A few minutes later, I heard a scuffling sound behind me and my little brother skidded into view. "Come on," was all he said. I shook my head. "No way. I'm done." But he wouldn't have it. Luke grabbed my hand and began to pull me up the rest of the cliff.
"You're not finished. You're going up all the way."
So with much reluctance and a bit of help from a twelve-year-old, I finished my climb up the cliff.
And then I was at the foot of the lighthouse.
The lighthouse was beautiful and so was the landscape around it (although I'll admit that looking down at the scenery was a bit dizzying for me).
We took some pictures as a family (minus Ali) because we don't often have these opportunities together.
My dad hates heights as well, so the fact that we both made it up to the lighthouse was a reason for celebration.
As our group sat down to eat a snack, we left a little early. We knew our trip down would be a little slower (we slid down the steepest part on our butts). But we survived without any permanent injuries.
Overall, the day was a success. We were all covered in red dirt and sand by the time we arrived home. It took a couple of showers to rinse off all the grit and a few days to recover from the sunburns we received, but hiking was worth it.
But I must say, while I do enjoy occasional hiking trips, I will always be a city girl at heart. :)