Those who know me well would say that Prepared might be my middle name. It could be. I am typically all about being prepared. I truly don’t like surprises, and my way of compensating for this is preparation. Or, as my boys would say, over-preparation.
Usually when we go on a vacation, I have every last detail planned. Not this trip. In fact, nothing about this trip has been typical. For starters, we only decided to take a trip about three weeks before we actually left. Brad and I were both quite busy at work, so we found ourselves five days away from our departure date with NO HOTEL booked. Logan just happened to call on the night we were lamenting the fact that neither of us had had time to book the hotel, so we gave him the assignment of finding us a place to stay. Let me just note here that I almost NEVER relinquish that kind of control, but in desperation I did. We arrived in Sedona with no set plans for anything – no tours booked, no itinerary, no nothing. Well, that’s not exactly true. Brad did buy a book on the Grand Canyon before we left Waco. We just hadn’t really had time to read it.
So far, the trip has been a great adventure. We’ve seen God’s majesty displayed so beautifully there are not words to describe it and pictures don’t come close to doing it justice. We’ve just tried to soak it all in. And, we have laughed together, acted silly, discussed serious topics, argued about who is right, and more. The memories we’ve created are just as priceless as the beauty we’ve been surrounded by, but you know what? Every part of this trip has not gone smoothly. Today is the perfect example.
We headed out to Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife Area first thing this morning. How could we resist since it bears our name? But, I forgot to check the temps north of Flagstaff so I got to hike in the snow in shorts. For the gal who is cold in 70-degree weather, this was a bit much.
I was sure thankful for Brad’s ugly gray hoodie even though it didn’t match my shorts at all.
Then we headed back to Sedona and decided to pitstop at Slide Rock State Park. We paid the $10 entry fee, but truthfully, the only cool thing we saw was this little lizard. He provided some great entertainment and put up a fierce chase.
From there, we decided to check out Fay Canyon. I had heard there was a beautiful arch to see, so we took the quick mile hike to the canyon, only to discover no arch. Hmmm. How did we miss it? We hiked the mile back to the car with the boys fully convinced I had the wrong trail and there was no arch. (Side note: I confirmed after we got back to the hotel that there IS an arch in Fay Canyon. We simply missed the side trail that veers off the main trail. I am certain a man marked the trail. A woman would’ve known better.) Even though we didn’t see the arch, I did get some great pics.
After the missing arch, we decided to hike to Devil’s Bridge, a naturally occurring bridge in a small canyon. The nice man at the convenience store told me it was “just off Forest Road 152. So away we went. We got to FR 152 only to discover that you needed a “high clearance vehicle” and we’ll just note here that my Honda Pilot isn’t one. So, we took off on foot. After walking about two miles, I finally convinced the boys we should ask one of the Jeep tour people who kept frequently driving by how much farther we had to go. We ask. Not good. We still had a little more than half a mile to hike before we would reach the trailhead, and then we had a little over a mile to hike to reach Devil’s Bridge. Since it was already after 5pm, we knew it would be dark before we could make it back, so . . . we began the two mile hike back to the car.
Some might say this day was a loss. After all, we struck out at Slide Park, Fay Canyon, and Devil’s Bridge, and I had to hike in the snow in shorts with a gray hoodie that didn’t match. But, all of those things just got me to thinking.
I don’t want my joy to be in the destination, but rather in the journey. I don’t want to wait until I “arrive” to put a smile on my face. I don’t want to miss the beauty in something because it didn’t come packaged the way I expected it to. I don’t want to forfeit any memory because I had a sour attitude. Most importantly, I don’t want to ever forget that every day is a gift I don’t deserve.
So, this gal is going to enjoy the journey and peek from behind trees with a smile on her face and joy in her heart, thanking God for this adventure we call life.