Friday morning started off like any other, minus one important difference. The coffee had run out. Though we packed for the trip as if we had a fire under our privileged buts, our efforts were somewhat sluggish and due to other, unforeseen events – none of which as difficult to overcome as the empty red bin of Folgers – the group decided to stay the night at the house and set out to Upper West Clear Creek in the morning. Always a group to find the best in the worst, the night was a major success. An intense game of football, or “soccer,” was played, a birthday was celebrated, love was in the air and the smell of burgers, onion rings and fries were as well.

Saturday morning we embarked on our quest toward the jungle of a forest known as West Clear Creek. The climb was steep, our bags were heavy, our legs grew weak, but our demeanor never wavered. We set up camp by a creek with waters as clear as the sky above. We ate, laughed, swam, and shared stories both hilarious and personal. We wrote about important relationships in our life, why some were better than others, and what relationships need in order to bridge the gap between mediocre and excellent. We shared our writings until the night was upon us and fell asleep to the sound of crickets, laughter, and snoring.

Sunday morning we delved deeper into 15,328-acre creek. The Mogollon Rim surrounded us on both sides, extending upward as far as the eye could see, as we bushwhacked our way from one beautiful swimming hole to the next. All of us jumped off small cliffs. After we set up camp closer to the trailhead, we held a meeting on acceptance, its importance, and what it means to each of us personally. The trip was a great one and both our bags and minds were light as we hiked back up the mountain.