Camelback Mountain is literally 3 miles from my house. And it's the Everest of Phoenix.

OK, so it's not really that big. But it IS really big. Here's a crappy image I snagged off the internet so you can see for yourself:
I've lived in Arizona for 22 years and I've never hiked to the top of it. Until today.

My friends Marcus and Gina are super-cool and they invited me to come hike Camelback with them. Due to the fact that I like them, it was a beautiful day, I moderately enjoy hiking, and goal #47 on my 101 in 1001 list is "Hike to the top of Camelback Mountain," I said yes.

Due to the fact that I'm out of shape and goal #47 is fairly daunting, I decided to think of this as a practice run and hike halfway. Gina assured me that she only planned to hike halfway and we decided to bring Dixie and their cute dog Paisley along as well.

I had no idea that Dixie is such a hiker! She LOVED it. She was bounding up rocks twice her size and I had to keep telling her to wait up.

Wouldn't it be cool if I had some photos of her or maybe Marcus and Gina and Paisley to illustrate this lovely story? Indeed, it would. But I was much too focused on BREATHING to take photos. (And no, I didn't bring my camera - all these photos are courtesy of the iPhone.)

So we got halfway up the mountain. I felt like i had surely already climbed a WHOLE mountain but Marcus assured me we were only halfway. We sat and caught our breath and I thought about it.

I'm already halfway.

It would be a pity not to finish.

So we did.

Gina was sweet and headed back down with the pups and Marcus and I forged ahead to climb boulders that often required me to use all of my available extremities.

We took plenty of breaks. Here's a shot I took on one of said breaks:
Marcus is a motivational speaker and he motivationally spoke to me the whole way up. And before we knew it, we were enjoying this amazing view from the top!
We sat down on this sheer cliff to take in the view while I explained to Marcus that I would need to be helicoptered down.
Proof that I made it:
What a gorgeous city I live in! Thanks Marcus and Gina for the fun memory!
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