The foremost reason I hike is for emotional health. I love it. Can’t live without it. What others find healthful in prayer or meditation, I find in walking out in nature. Clarity, soul–refreshment. The added benefit, of course, is physical health. And way down in tertiary position is the word goal or success.
Nevertheless, I hiked to Rattlesnake Arches last week and thus chalked up another score for the bucket list. It was a goal well-met; a decision well-made. Despite the urging of some friends not to go alone and others not to take my Subaru, I set my face toward the arches and I went.
There are two ways to get to the arches. From the North; a seven-mile hike in and through Rattlesnake Canyon with a seven-mile return. From the South; a seven-mile dirt road, connecting to 1.5 miles of jeep road and then two miles on foot. I chose the dirt road thinking at any time to pull over and hoof it the rest of the way. It was my lucky day. The dirt road was freshly graded. The Red Pearl made it the full seven miles – at 10 miles per hour. Trucking on down the Jeep road in my bald tennies; I came upon this wondrous sign:
Solitude. Oh how I love that word. On my way in, I met a lone cyclist, on the road out only one vehicle. I was alone, in utter solitude for a seven-mile radius. There are times I need the counsel and restoration of friends and times I need to be alone, self-paced, quiet, in self-examination.
Cresting the hill, canyons and valleys of the Colorado River stretch out before me, on into ruby colored sandstone and to Utah. The world is so vast. I am so very small. Instantly I trust.
The fear which chronically dogs me, is utterly gone. I rest. Finally in the arms of Nature. There is nothing I can do. Nothing for me to fix, manipulate or take responsibility for. It is beyond me. And yet, all will be most well. It is in the hands of the supernatural.