Trekking through the searing heat of the Arizona desert // Not Your Average Vacation

Lawyers vacation hiking
For Rachel Radomski, hiking is “an immersive way to experience nature”

By Matthew Hague

On Tuesday March 3rd, 2020

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Rachel Radomski spent her most recent vacation testing her endurance. In September, she to Sedona, Ariz., where noontime temperatures routinely top 38 degrees. In the wee hours of the morning, she would awake with her husband, Jordan Silver, senior director of product development at CannTrust, a medical cannabis provider. The couple would head out on one of the region’s stunning trails. “Hiking is an immersive way to experience nature,” says the sixth-year associate at Bogoroch & Associates LLP. “While the vistas are grand, beauty strikes on all scales, no matter where you look.”

Lawyers vacation hiking

Rachel Radomski and her husband, Jordan Silver, on vacation in Arizona.

On one morning, the couple hiked along Soldier Pass, a popular six-kilometre trail with striking scenery. Radomski trekked through Mars-red rocks and, at one point, a cave with soaring natural arches. At the end of the path, she was treated to a panoramic view of the surrounding desert. “The landscape is just so completely different from what I see during my day-to-day in Toronto,” says Radomski. “It’s extraordinary.”

Radomski, an enthusiastic hiker, has taken similar trips to Utah, Wyoming and Nevada. After she wrote the bar exam, she and Silver went camping in Banff. “We had the first camping permit of the spring that year,” she says. “It was still below zero out.”

The outdoors, she admits, can be grueling. “But I don’t believe in accepting limits,” says Radomski. “The benefit of pushing beyond what’s comfortable is that you see all the things you’re capable of doing.”


Into the wild

Thinking of hiking in Arizona? Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Personal safety: However much water you think you’ll need, double it,” says Radomski. “Heatstroke is a real risk in the desert — people die every year.” Also important: not getting lost. Radomski uses a mapping app called AllTrails. The paid version works without data, which you won’t always have in the desert. “Even if you step two feet off of the trail, it shows you you’re off track.”

The cost: “Hiking is an affordable travel option. Many of Radomski’s favourite trails, such as Soldier Pass, are free. But you should invest in gear. A comfortable pair of hiking boots will cost about $200; if you’re camping, a sturdy tent will set you back between $300 to $500.”

The training: Radomski wasn’t always an avid hiker. “The only hiking I used to do was through a shopping mall,” she says. “My husband got me into it.” To stay fit, she does high-intensity training with weights and cardio. For newbies, she suggests walking for an hour on a treadmill at a slight incline.


This is a story from our Spring 2020 Issue.