This past weekend was the Whitetail picnic-an annual tradition at my church-where we move the entire church up to Mt. Lemmon, hold a service, have a picnic, and hang out together as a church family.  Last year they started renting the Whitetail campground the day before, so people could camp overnight and then attend service the next morning.  This is where we were this weekend-camping on Mt. Lemmon, surrounded by beauty and friends, enjoying one last trip before school starts again.  And, it was quite a trip.  It was such a cool trip, in fact, that I’m going to write about it in three parts, because I came back with some pretty fun stories.  So this is part one.

Nason and I got to the campground a little before the check in time (1:00).  We drove around and took some pictures, then headed back.  We were some of the first people there, so we had our pick of camp sites.  Of course, we didn’t camp on a camp site-that would have been silly.  We wanted adventure, we wanted to risk getting eaten by bears, so camping on one of the sites wasn’t an option.  Instead, we walked up a nearby hill and found a spot overlooking everything.  It was beautiful.  We set up our tent in record time and then turned to each other.

“So…you still want to hike?”

“Yeah, let’s do it!”

So we went hiking.  Now, the hiking was much like the tent pitching-we wanted adventure.  So, rather than find a trail, we made our own. 

We started by visiting the hill where Nason proposed to me two years ago (yes, it was at the Whitetail picnic two years ago), and we spent some time there reflecting on the past two years.  Proposal Hill is just as beautiful as I remember it-the sunlight filtering through the trees, the stillness, the fantastic view of the forest below-it is a wonderful spot, and it is where I want to camp next year.  We looked ahead, and saw another hill, so we hiked to it to see what we could see.  And it was even more beautiful than Proposal Hill!  It was higher than the previous hill, so it had a better view, and what a view it was!  Nason joked that this was where he should have proposed, so I named it The Hill Where Nason Didn’t Propose (not the most creative name, but it fit).

From there we went downhill, and came across this field.  I was feeling silly and wanted to frolic through it, but in addition to all of the neat plant life, there were a lot of sharp rocks, so we opted not to.  Nason wanted a picture by a tree we thought was very small, but when he walked towards it we discovered that it was much larger than anticipated!  It still made for a good picture, though.

That was our turning point, so we headed back after taking some more pictures.  The hike back up the Hill Where Nason Didn’t Propose was very steep, so we were out of breath by the time we made it to the top.  The next hill was easier, and then we were back, tired but happy.  Overall Nason said we probably hiked about 2 miles, and it took us a couple of hours (keep in mind, it was all uphill and downhill).  It was perfect day for hiking, and I’m glad we took advantage of it!

Check back tomorrow for Part 2: The Prank War!