Thrill-seeking at its peak

By Josh Dalton

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Man has always wanted to fly. I always thought that the closest one could come to flying without a ticket and the surroundings of a metal tube was bungee jumping, hang gliding, or skydiving. All of those things are well and good if one has anywhere from fifty to 1,000 dollars to spend, but I have discovered something new and free to appease one's desire to touch the skies.

Past the city limits and far into the desert wilderness that is Catalina State Park lies the Romero Trail, which leads hikers through Romero Canyon to Romero Falls. The terrain of the near two mile hike is almost entirely uphill, but at the end of the hike, beside the feeling of satisfaction of having made it, there is the added reward of "the cliffs."

After hiking for an hour and a half, my party and I finally reached these cliffs at about 11:45 a.m. This being my third time, I had no fear, no inhibitions. I started off the day with a bang, going directly to, and off, the perilous fifty-five footer.

Yet, any desensitization by frequency or experience of jumping is lost completely when one stands at the edge and thinks about the next step. Thoughts that run through your head include: "This is higher than the highest platform dive," "the safe landing area is so small," (about 10 by 15 feet), "I'm going to be in the air for about two seconds," "I'm falling at approximately 30 miles an hour," or "Will it hurt when I land?"

The best thing to do is simply to look once to make sure there is water at the bottom, take a couple of steps back, and toss yourself out into the air. It is like taking medicine. The longer you wait, the harder it gets.

Do not let yourself be so intimidated by the distance of the hike or the height of the cliff that you do not go out to Romero Falls on some peaceful weekend. Instead, keep these things in mind: the hike back is entirely downhill and only takes about 50 minutes or so, and there are other cliffs besides the ominous 55-footer. There are other jumps at five, 10, 20, 30, and 45 feet. Also, the scenery and the view are surprisingly lush and green.

When not jumping, there are nice places in the shade to have a pleasant picnic lunch.

Whether you are an adventurer or just someone that likes a nice hike or a picnic, the Romero Trail holds something for all outdoor enthusiasts.

Josh Dalton is a thrill-seeking freshman and new arts staff this semester.

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