What They Don't Tell You About Hiking In Arizona

What They Don't Tell You About Hiking In Arizona

Be prepared to see a lot of dogs and old people. Oh, and dirt.

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My alarm went off at 7:30 am, if you know me then you know that for me that's basically like 5:00 am. I seriously contemplated falling off my bed just to injure myself so I wouldn't have to go on this hike.

After I read the customary "Good morning beautiful" text from my loving boyfriend, I knew I had to put my big girl pants on and suck it up. This hike was going to happen and I had an hour and thirty minutes to mentally prepare myself for whatever the day had planned. I stopped and got a bagel from the student union and we were on the road headed to Sedona.

The drive was faster than I expected and before I knew it we were driving past windows the read, "Psychic" and "Find your inner peace here." Sedona is known for being in an energy vortex where visitors can come to recharge and meditate in order to find healing and relaxation. A little strange, but to each their own. I was here to prove a point and I wasn't going to let anything (even a vortex) come between me and that mountain.

I somehow convinced my boyfriend to let me look in all the souvenir shops (my favorite part of any trip) first before the hike. I was on the hunt for the perfect hydro sticker and I was convinced that sicker would make it all worth it. Downtown Sedona has a small-town feel with a gorgeous view of the iconic red rocks. There are a plethora of Indian jewelry shops and probably my favorite, the Cowboy Club restaurant.

Downtown Sedona Pinterest

After I got my sticker we headed to the trails. After a 15 minute drive, we arrived and thank God we got a parking spot close to the trail because it was packed. Who knew so many people were willing and even skipping to get to these long stretches of dirt road.

Immediately I realized that I should've dished out the extra cash to take the Pink Jeep Tour that I laughed at when we were downtown.

"Why pay money to ride in a jeep if you can just walk for free?" I thought to myself and boy, was I humbled. It wasn't more than five minutes before I said:

"So where exactly are we going..."


Views of Sedona Red Rocks

We were on the hunt for Devil's Bridge, a natural sandstone arch located in Sedona. The hike features breathtaking views of the Red Rock Country that surrounds the trail. One thing I wasn't quite prepared for was the chill in the air that day.

I learned that leggings aren't the best hiking attire. So make sure you plan ahead and dress warmly, especially if you're hiking when the sun isn't out.


Sedona, AZ


I did not expect to see so many old couples hand in hand walking the trails. I was convinced that if these 70 to 80-year old sweethearts could successfully make it up and down this mountain, then you better bet that my 21-year-old butt could too.

However, let me tell you about the absolute best part of this hike and I'm sure many others. Dogs. So many dogs. This trail does allow dogs as long as they remain on a leash. With every turn or hill, there was a different dog and I couldn't help but think God was motivating me to keep on going.

Also, be prepared to get a little dirty. *wink* There was no lack of mud puddles and dust storms on the trail. That being said, don't wear your brand new pair of Nikes unless you're ready for them to be unrecognizable.


Devil's Bridge, Sedona AZ

After taking a few (okay maybe a little bit more than a few) rest breaks, we made it to our destination. Let me say, every second of this four-mile hike was SO worth it. There is something about standing on top of a mountain and looking out that is truly spectacular. You feel accomplished and ever so grateful for the nature that encompasses your surroundings.

Going on this hike not only tested my physical strength and endurance, but it gave me a moment to be truly stunned by our Creator and His amazing creation. Words can not even begin to describe the talent and creativity that God possesses.

With that being said, do yourself a favor and go take a hike.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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11 Reasons Why Hiking Should Become A Pivotal Part Of Your Life

It's good for the body and soul.

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I was lucky enough to grow up 10 minutes from a national park. This meant that some of my earliest memories were riding on my dad's shoulders through miles of beautiful trails. As a got older, the simple joy of enjoying the fresh air and getting away from the craziness of life that hiking offered only made me fall in love with it more. Now, whenever I have a rough day or just need a break from stress, the first thing that I want to do is hit the trails.

1. Fresh air

Emily Smith

Being cooped up inside for too long can take a toll on anyone. Being able to get out and breathe the fresh air and feel the sun shining can instantly boost anyone's mood!

2. Exercise

Emily Smith

Hiking is a great way to get those extra steps in, and many areas have different paths you can take depending on your fitness level.

3. No electronics

Emily Smith

I am so guilty of going on my phone way too much. Being outdoors allows a break from social media and time to focus on being in the moment and enjoying the amazing world we live in.

4. Scenery

Emily Smith

Hiking allows us to see some of the most gorgeous untouched pieces of nature. It is hard to not be amazed by how beautiful our earth is.

5. Vitamin D

Emily Smith

There is nothing that a little bit of sun can't cure. Being outside in the sun not only gives you a nice summer glow, but it can be so beneficial to our health! Vitamin D helps boost our immune system and gives us energy.

6. Way more fun than going to the gym

Emily Smith

Going to the gym and using the treadmill and other machines provide a workout but can become more of a chore than fun after a while. Hikes are an amazing workout that hardly feels like a chore. So, the next time you are getting tired of the same old routine at a smelly gym, think about taking a hike instead.

7. Stress reliever

Emily Smith

Being out in nature can be such a great break from the "real world."

8. Great way to spend time with friends

Emily Smith

The next time you don't know what to do with your friends, consider going on a hike! There are so many fun things to do, like bring a picnic or watch the sunset. It's a great way to switch up your typical routine of watching T.V. or Netflix.

9. Perfect way to exercise with dogs

Emily Smith

Instead of taking your dog around the neighborhood, switch it up and take them on a hike! It's a great workout for them, and oftentimes, a lot more enjoyable than the daily neighborhood route.

10.  It's free!

Emily Smith

What more needs to be said? Free fun is hard to come by nowadays, so going on a hike can help your bank account too!

11.  It's fun!

Emily Smith

What's not to love about the endless ways to enjoy hiking?

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