Tony and I were sitting around talking about our goals as we traveled and decided to start working on our list right away!
So many times we have ideas of what we want to do, but we sit around and wait for them to happen rather than taking the appropriate steps to make them happen.
We knew we wanted to hike, so with advice from some AZ natives, and a quick internet search, we set out for Payson.
The night we got in we had some FABULOUS pizza at a little family-owned Italian restaurant and asked people we met throughout the night where the best spots to hike were.
We woke up the next morning and headed out for Water Wheel. I have to admit this was one of my first real hiking experiences. Although we have had these plans to travel and adventure and hike and discover, I learned that I am pretty terrified of the natural elements of the earth.
I was continuously afraid that the waterfall was going to wash me away, or I was going to trip on a rock and fall to my death (the hike really wasn’t that scary, I’m just slightly dramatic).
Thanks to my wonderful husband, I not only survived, but had an amazing time. The hike was the perfect level of difficulty. We did have to climb up some rocks and wade through the water to make it to the top. But the entire journey was a blast, and the views all along the way were beautiful. Tony was crazy enough to jump into one of the ice cold pools of water. I tried to take away some things as we hiked:
Five things I learned on my first hike.
- If you want to get to the top, you’re going to have to get your feet wet.
**note to self, invest in some good hiking sandals. Wet tennis shoes get uncomfortable.
- You can hike with ANY kind of dog.
I kid you not, we saw everything from Chihuahua’s (more than one) to hound dogs, Australian shepherds to yorkis, and every other mutt in between.
- If you keep looking down, at least take rest breaks to enjoy the scenery.
I wanted to mention to look at your surroundings while you’re hiking to take in all the beauty, but as I was hiking, I realized this was not possible for me. If I looked up, I would trip and fall. So instead we made sure we stopped often to take in all the views.
- Find and purchase a small first aid kit.
This will be stored away on our next hike. I am confident it will come in handy in the future.
- Make friends!
Everyone that was on the trail was out there for different reasons. There were so many people with their kids, which I found fascinating. It took them a while to get to the top but they all made it together! There were older couples that had probably been hiking longer than I have been alive. I loved to see their love for nature and the outdoors still evident. There were people hiking alone, people hiking with friends, and even a family putting up a barbed wire fence because hikers were constantly on their land. They were actually a really nice family, and it was fun to connect with so many different people on so many different journeys.
The path isn’t always clear or easy, but if you’ve got a great partner, then you will find your way to the beautiful waterfall.