My first hike was on a whim. It was a short one too. We were driving in Sedona, Arizona, after we visited our cousins in Phoenix last December 2014. Before going to Prescott to visit my Tita Tess, Tessa, and Paffy too (and their cats!), my cousin Ouel decided that he, my Mom, and I should climb Airport Vortex. Tita Mila and Tito Manny stayed in the car, while we went up Airport Vortex even when there was still snow on the ground! We didn’t carry anything at all, and we weren’t even in proper attire. My Mom was wearing boots when we climbed! She also conquered her fear of heights when she bravely took on this challenge. I’ll always be proud of her that time she decided to carry on when we were about to reach the top and she didn’t want to go anymore. We encouraged her, we believed in her, and eventually, my Mom reached the top of Airport Vortex to revel in the view of the whole of Sedona and its red rock formations, peppered with snow here and there.
The second hike I had was with my Dad and cousin Jango last May 2015. It was in Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas, Nevada. The climb was easy for me as I didn’t have the responsibility of carrying a backpack or our water bottles. My Dad and Jango did the carrying, while I was free to walk and climb without the burden of something heavy on my shoulders and back. Because I have asthma, I can’t really carry heavy weight as it might trigger an attack. I will always be thankful for my Dad and Jango for understanding and carrying the things we needed.
On our third hike, I was also with my Dad and my cousins EJ and Jammil with their pet pug, Tofu (who is a patient climber if I may add!). We climbed Mission Peak in Fremont, California. This hike was, if I’m not mistaken, two days after Red Rock Canyon. Comparing our two experiences, this was a tougher hike, as the trail we picked was all uphill! Also, my Dad and my cousins were the ones carrying bags, while I was free again to just carry my Dad’s camera around. But still, it was a difficult climb for us, while my cousins breezed through it. I remember my Dad and I only being able to take small steps, because our legs hurt.
But on March 5, 2016, yesterday, it felt like I was climbing a mountain again for the first time.
This was my fourth hike, but the first in three aspects: 1) it was my first with my colleagues and superiors; 2) it was my first here in our beloved Philippines; and 3) it was my first time I had to carry a relatively light backpack (relatively light, because when I travel back to our home in the province, it would be heavier due to the books I bring!), because in the first two, my Dad and cousins would be carrying the heavy load.
So yes, I needed to trust God more on this day when Mt. Talamitam beckoned our team to have it as our first climb together.