and get over it.
That may be the usual saying but not in this case! Over this past summer my best friend and I went on an amazing adventure to the Tonto Natural Bridge outside of Payson, Arizona. This was one of the many best days of my life.
Emily and I drove my car, a 2005 Volkswagon New Beetle, also commonly referred to but not limited to: The love of my life, the greatest car, such a piece of trash, most unreliable (insert a fitting adjective of your choosing here) garbage mobile I’ve ever driven. The scary bipolar emotions I feel towards my car is how accurately I feel about the thing. Somedays she runs fine and drives smoothly, but others, she won’t start, or she’ll break down because the engine and transmission are horrible. So why am I sharing this? Because driving my car an hour and forty five minutes out of town to a destination I’ve been to only one other time is just the risk I am willing to take. But that’s all a smidge overdramatic because we made it there fine! Sure driving uphill my max speed was 40 mph but going downhill we were coasting at 95!
When we arrived to the park it was probably just before 10 am, and we were a little hungry but Em and I came prepared because we packed snacks for a picnic (heart emoji).
But this is when the real fun began: The Hike.
Okay so that was another semi-dramatic introduction, but really, this was not a hard hike. It started with the downhill which is unusual for most hikes, starting with the descend – ending with the climb… Once we made it to the bottom we looked up and saw the most amazing view of the Natural Bridge with water flowing over the sides. The bridge is 183 feet high and is over 400 feet long which is truly enormous. The absolute best part was the pools of water under the bridge that Emily and I swam in. Even though we went on a hot day in August, the water was colder than the ocean, so it felt so good. We found a cliff and jumped off of it into the water and repeated, probably for hours.
Continuing with the hike, we definitely veered off trail somewhere but it was worth it x100. We continued to walk along the creek for as long as it continued though the trail turned and went up the mountain. Honestly it was luck that we did not stay on trail because we found a lush, green waterfall that clearly wasn’t visited by much traffic. We climbed up the waterfall which was slippery and mossy, and climbing under it made our clothes drenched but that didn’t bother us. Once we climbed behind the waterfall we found a large cave and stayed in it for another chunk of time.
Hiking out of the canyon it was peak of the sun’s heat and though we were quickly approaching my car, we considered turning around and going back to the cool swimming hole for another hour or so. Don’t get me wrong, we really considered this heavily but ended up not turning back because our stomach’s were growling louder than our debating voices. Dear stomachs, we got the messages.
We stopped at THAT Pub and Brewery in Pine, AZ, not my first time in Pine but my first time at THAT Brewery (which was kindly recommended by the parks service man) and I’ve been back three times since August. Seriously. If you ever stumble upon this place, EAT HERE. Then of course, my fudge craving was in full swing when I drove past a fudge shop, so we stopped there too.
The drive home was not too bad, it was golden hour so the sun was in my eyes but it passed quickly. Emily and I were listening to all throwback songs (mostly Hannah Montana) and we sang at the top of our lungs on every word. Being with my best friend and going on such a fun adventure is what made this day one of the best so far(:
Now it’s only fair that I share some pictures from the trip.
Here’s some songs that Emily & I enjoy(: