Summer Camping at Big Lake, AZ
We love camping and so do our best friends, M and R, who are moving to Portland by the end of June for a new job assignment. They were busy with house rentals and packing and I was quite busy with my work, but I am so glad we were able to squeeze in an almost last minute camping trip in mid-June at Cutthroat campground near Big Lake in Arizona (thanks to R!). It turned out to be one of the best camping experiences, not only because it was in one of my favorite camping areas with some of my favorite people, but also because the night sky was so magical and the sunset by the lake so peaceful.
|How sometimes a rock can add depth to a landscape - Sunrise at Big Lake
We drove together on Friday evening and reached there as the night began to fall. After a quick tent set up and dinner, my husband, M and I decided to go for a walk. It was the day after the new moon and it was pitch dark all around us and so eerily silent. But, as we looked up at the sky, it was shining with a million twinkling stars and was one of the most beautiful starry night skies I have ever seen. As the 3 of us walked together in silence staring at the sky, I felt like I was walking in heaven. And that I have everything I need right there and then. It was a magical experience for me. When I was thinking it couldn't get any better, M and I saw a shooting star. It was the first sighting of a shooting star in my life that I remember so vividly. I tried to think of a wish but my heart was full and I didn't have anything to ask for. I felt so lucky. It was a night I will never forget and a walk I will remember forever.
I got up around 4:30 am the next morning to catch the dawn and sunrise by the lake. I love the colors in the sky during dawn and dusk, and their reflections in the water and the surroundings. I love the warmth and the energy the Sun brings every morning and I wished for myself to experience more sunrises than I currently do.
|Crack of the dawn!
After that, R and I went for a really long walk as my husband made breakfast for us :). We both love long walks among pine trees and lost track of time. We were gone for about 2 hours and came back with a deeper bond than before.
|R's favorite spot - the rolling meadows during our walk
After breakfast, we set up a tarp under the shade of the pine and aspen trees with a partial view of the lake. The weather was just perfect and we spent the rest of the day relaxing, playing sequence with the kids and just enjoying each other's company, only getting up to eat lunch and mangoes in the afternoon. It was one of those days when you are happy just 'being' and don't feel the need for any 'doing'. I am always grateful for such days and wish them more often.
In the evening, we went for a walk to the boat launch area to watch the sunset. It was so calm and peaceful.
|My favorite spot - Sunset at Big Lake near boat launch area
|My husband's favorite spot - Sunset lake view near our campsite
After dinner, I went for another walk under the starry night sky and enjoyed the solitude. I saw a couple more shooting stars that night and smiled. I thanked my stars for the last 24 hours, which were full of joy and peace.
|Morning selfie of a happy me listening to Kishore da after watching sunrise :)
We got up early the next morning too, packed up, had breakfast and left the campsite by 8 am. On our drive back home, we went down the memory lane and discussed how we all met 10 years ago and how our journey has been since then. The journey was beautiful, so was the trip. We all agreed that we are so lucky to have met each other.
Our first trip together was a camping trip in 2013 (Canyon Point Campground near Payson) and while I am sure this Big Lake camping trip is not the last, it felt like a fitting farewell for our 10 years together in Arizona for now :)
|Camping with besties - always fun and memorable
P.S: While Rainbow campground nearby has better facilities (flush toilets and showers), this campground has better lake views. If I were to do this again, I would pick campsite #10, which not only has a great lake view but also is closer to the group car parking area than site #5 where we stayed (some sites in this campground have to park at a nearby small parking lot while others have individual car parking near their site).