I recently took a trip up to Mt. Lemmon with two friends of mine. Mt. Lemmon is a mountain in Tucson, AZ and at a little over 9,000 feet in elevation there are ski slopes and even a little place called the Cookie Cabin that makes cookies the size of plates, and trust me, they are to die for. Unfortunately this trip did not take us to the Cookie Cabin though, this was a camping trip.
My friends and I left campus mid afternoon on a Friday after we had finished classes for the day and ended up getting up the mountain and to our camping spot a little later than we anticipated, keep in mind that it does take a little over an hour to drive up the mountain from campus. By the time we hiked our stuff from the car to where we would be camping for the night, the sun was already starting to set. As a result, we quickly started a fire and began to set up camp before we lost our daylight. Once we were settled in, we watched as the sun set over the twinkling city lights of Tucson and tended to the fire.
After the sun had finally set and it was dark, my friend Christian who has been teaching me everything he knows about photography, went teach me how to take some long exposure shots of the night sky, cell towers off in the distance, and cars that we could see as they drove up and down the mountain. We took pictures for a while while my other friend Evan hung out and tended to the fire.
Once Christian and I were done we went back to the campsite where we relaxed, told stories, made jokes, and enjoyed the peacefulness. Once we started getting hungry we broke out the classic camping staple hot dogs, that we cooked over the fire to enjoy. Eventually all of the supplies for s’mores came out too, a camping must!
We sat around the fire for the rest of the night, cracking jokes and enjoying the company until we decided to go to bed. I snuggled into my sleeping bag on my hammock as my friends cozied into their sleeping bags on the ground. Before we had gone to bed clouds started rolling through and engulfing our campsite limiting our visibility. Sparatically throughout the night I would wake up to rain drizzling on my face, as would Christian and Evan. Unfortunately we decided to leave the tent in the car since there was no forecast for rain and unlike Tucson which was still in the 70s and 80s, Mt. Lemmon was in the 40s and 50s.
We woke up a little before 6am still engulfed in clouds and being drizzled on like we were throughout the night. Wet and cold we decided to get up and head out, but once we were out from under the trees we were sleeping under, it was completely dry. Over by our fire pit there was not a single drop of water. If you ventured under the trees that we slept under tough, it was raining! I had the thought during the night that the rain I was being woken up by was possibly just condensation dripping down from the trees, and it turns out that is exactly what it was. The trees collected condensation from the moisture in the clouds that were blowing through our campsite. Once we discovered this, we decided to stay. We restarted the fire and dried off by it as we heated up some blueberry bagels that we had brought for breakfast. Once we were dry and satisfied with our stay up on the mountain, we packed up our stuff and hiked back to the car. Overall, we had a great time and a learned a lesson or two, but we all came out with a shared experience and a fun adventure!