By Randy Fridley

Randy Fridley in Sedona, Arizona

Randy Fridley in Sedona, Arizona

Millions of seekers visit Sedona’s vortexes each year looking for a cure for troubled spirits or diseased bodies. They drive to one or more of the easily accessible “big four” vortexes (Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Airport Overview, or Boynton Vista) and make the short hike hoping for something unique. I visit the known vortexes too, but I was healed of a terminal diagnosis on the hiking trails in Sedona. Three places along the trails spoke to my body and spirit through resounding words and scenes that I believe will do the same for others. I offer that knowledge here for those desperate for a Sedona Cure.

I was living in Florida when my disease, pulmonary hypertension was diagnosed by one of only three specialists in the USA on Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Tiny malformed blood vessels in my lungs were leaking and making my lungs too stiff to breathe normally. I was huffing and puffing just taking out the garbage. I had a battery of medical tests. The progressive nature of the disease gave me a prognosis of about two years to live. When I told my family that I wanted my ashes scattered in Sedona they were shocked. “You haven’t even lived there and you want to spend eternity there?” they asked with some disbelief. Well I had wanted to live here for years, but life got in the way. Surely death wouldn’t have that power. So we moved to Sedona quickly so I could live my final months in the place I loved doing as much as possible of what I enjoyed most, hiking in the Red Rocks.

During the weeks and hikes that followed a miracle began to happen, and I could feel it. I hiked for eight months and found many special places, but three places in over eighty trails called me back over and over. I received nature’s treatment along these trail segments and in two follow up visits to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix during ensuing months the tests that were used to follow my disease no longer showed signs of the disease. This is something that doesn’t happen in pulmonary hypertension. You don’t get a cure. The Mayo Clinic dismissed me a patient. I was cured.

The trail segments where I found healing are as follows:

If you take the Big Park Trail and link up with the Courthouse Butte Trail there is a segment that starts at the Wilderness Area and ends at the intersection of the Bell Rock Trail. This is beautiful country with incredible scenery and I feel the healing every time I navigate this trail segment.

If you take the Huckaby Trail to the segment that overlooks uptown Sedona and the distant red rock horizon you may receive the same clear healing euphoric rush I feel there every time.

And finally, if you ascend the Brins Mesa Trail from the Jordan Road Trailhead, get on top of the mesa, hike to the intersection of the Soldier’s Pass Trail and continue, you will come to the descent point where you look out over a vast vista of Sedona and Red Rock Country. This is a healing place also.

Three thoughts began to layer over each other each time I hiked the noted places. They are clear, brief phrases that I understood right away. They are life directions for getting the most out of whatever I had left. Here they are:

No Burden Irks. I was getting irked at little things. The time I spent upset over nothing was time I couldn’t get back and was a waste of precious life. Here are a couple of examples. My wife leaves the toothpaste tube uncapped. I have to clear the smudge and recap the tube. She also leaves the car with an empty tank and low fuel light, and I have to fill the tank when I’m in a hurry. These things and similar things would irk me; disturb my peace for a while. That’s time lost to a negative feeling. I couldn’t afford it anymore. I didn’t have much time. Who does?

Appreciation is the Gatekeeper of Positive Emotions. It only makes sense, the more you appreciate things, the more you will feel appreciative and the better you will feel. It works. And the expression chanted in my brain as I hiked the special trail segments. Try it.

Only Love Tells. Words speak words. When you really love, people know it. When you don’t, they know it. Love tells on itself. The message was to let love tell on me. Make sure that the people I love know it.

So now you know some special places and thoughts to find healing for your troubled spirit or diseased body. Give these trail segments a try and see if you don’t find something special. I’m betting on it. I bet you find other places and inspirations just by getting out there.

The author holds several degrees in Education and Science. He is a retired Marine Squadron Commander. After ten years in his second career as a Physician Assistant, Lt.Col. Randy Fridley published his first novel, Sedona Women, based on his appreciation for Hospice nurses and his love for Sedona. He moved to Sedona in 2009 and soon published Zoomie, his second novel, based on his experience flying combat missions in Vietnam. His inspiration for writing comes from his many travels and his experiences with personality typologies. In his career in medicine he worked in areas of Family Practice, Gastroenterology, and Women Health. He and his wife, Dr. Linda Roemer, live in Uptown in Sedona. “Sedona Cure” won the grand prize in Sedona Story‘s “Sedona StoryFest” contest in 2011.