“Is it worth it?” the woman asks me as she and her companion make way for our group to pass up the hill. She was only about ten minutes into the 30-minute hike to the top of the Airport Mesa Vortex in Sedona. We were at the tail end of the little trek as she queried my opinion if the journey is deserving of the effort.
“Yes,” I say, “it’s beautiful.”
She sighed and smiled and continued on her way needing only a little encouragement from a stranger who had traveled the same road she was on.
This particular hike is one of the shortest in all of Sedona and like most of the hikes there, it is spectacular. I’m quite certain that my passing trail inquisitor was most pleased she didn’t abandon the path.
On another hike outside Flagstaff, we came upon a young man and his grandfather struggling up a steep dusty rocky trail. The grandfather was wearing worn leather loafers – definitely not the proper shoes for the job. He joked that his grandson “got him into this.” The grandson sheepishly told us that the trail was “supposed to be ‘easy.’” We knew that the hike, Fat Man’s Loop, was “moderate.” That said, the grandfather looked very pleased to be on this little adventure with his grandson. I’m sure his heels were going to be badly blistered and he’d be sore for days, but if asked, I’m also sure he would say, “it was worth it.”
Sometimes we have to search for the meaning and the worth. And sometimes, it’s as clear as a magical view from a mystical vortex.