The Third year of Dental School rocks!! Chad doesn’t have much to study for after school & he definitely doesn’t spend all weekend cramming for tests and practicals. I haven’t seen this much of my husband in 2 years! It is SOOO nice to be able to have him on the weekends and after 6 when he gets home. We are definitely soaking up this time & having lots of adventures. A few weekends ago, we decided to venture 2 hours away to a town called Payson that has lots of spots to camp & hike. Of course, we packed up the van (which fits our queen size pillow top) with a cooler of food, drinks & weekend bags of clothes & were off!
We didn’t know much about the area, so we just went off of some quick google searches online as we drifted in and out of cell service. We found a perfect place to park the car & ‘camp’ and an area with several fun hikes. The thing I loved about Payson the most, is that all of the camping/hikes are only about 2o minutes outside of the town itself. So we could drive back to town if we needed service, or breakfast, etc. The first baby hike (which was like 43 steps) we did was a little natural waterfall & it was a Presley favorite with all the steps leading down to it. This girl LOVES to do stairs.
The other hike we did was a pretty big hike, it started out on one side & followed this river down to the Tonto Natural Bridge – it was incredible (and also on this AZ hidden waterfall list). Presley did almost the entire thing, so we went pretty slow – but she had a blast playing and splashing in the water the entire time. She is addicted to throwing rocks into water right now, so that happened like every 7 steps.
It was incredible when we got there. You can see incredible professional images of the Natural Bridge HERE. My pictures definitely don’t do it justice. It was absolutely breathtaking & so amazing to see in person.
We were pretty wiped after that hike so we headed into town to explore a bit & then found a campsite to have a campfire dinner. Presley is at such a fun age right now! If you’ve followed us for awhile, you know we had a rough first 18 months. We lost count of ear infections, and sickness & definitely had more bad days then good. She’s gotten progressively better with age & we are soaking up the 2.5 right now. She finds enjoyment in the littlest things & she loves to explore and is happier so much more often. She is so much fun to take on adventures because she enjoys them & that makes it so much easier/funner for all of us! She is totally in HER element when we are out exploring and hiking and being adventurous (DEFINITE daddies girl).
After that full day of camping, we decided to just take a half day of exploring before heading home & this time just went to a camp spot with a river & hiked up and down the river. Presley was in absolute HEAVEN. I on the other hand, didn’t do so well. The river was packed FULL of little crawdads, and they would just swim all around your feet & gave me the biggest ebbe-jeebies.
I mean, thats ARIZONA people. I wouldn’t have guessed. Definitely on our list of places to go back and explore. We are falling more and more in love with Arizona and all of it’s hidden spots. Nothing like a quick little weekend adventure to get away from the craziness of life. Plus, camping and sleeping in the van with that cutie (and her hot daddy) is a major plus in my book.
Have you heard of any places in Arizona we should visit?