I’m an average guy who has never concerned myself with fears of what-ifs or constant worries. I’m not boasting; I have recognized many anxieties and stressors, but I’ve always done what was necessary.
I have never written about my fears, and a fear I felt several years ago brought about a feeling of total dread welling up in my chest, falling into the pit of my stomach, and dropping down along my legs. I froze in place for three to five seconds. I took deep breaths to slow my breathing and discovered I was lost in the vast desert on a hiking trail.
My entire life of hiking and backpacking along trails took place in the Midwest and the Eastern U. S, with painted colorful markings called “swatches” painted on trees directing the hiker along the path.
The desert cactuses have no such markings.
That frightening experience was three years ago, and every time I hiked in the desert, someone else was with me. So in March of 2023, I returned to Saguaro National Park, the scene of one of my greatest fears ever, to overcome my fears of hiking alone as I prepare to hike the New Mexico desert this early spring.
So, from the photos above, I’m overcoming my anxieties with a compass and technology downloaded detailing the trail. If you are reading this, I have returned with more of my desert hiking experiences forthcoming.
PS: Before the end of March.