I recently had a fantastic time hanging out near the west coast with two of my lifelong friends!
In case you missed my previous posts covering our girls’ trip, you can catch up here:
– Friday Favorites #112 (more Scottsdale eats & time with friends)
Today I am wrapping our trip up with a recap of our stay in Pine. It’s deemed the “Up North” of the Southwest and was absolutely beautiful to visit!
Weekend Cabin Getaway in Pine, Arizona
We left Scottsdale and set out for the two hour drive up to Pine by the mid-morning on Saturday. Considering we were surrounded by rocks and cacti with little to no grass in Scottsdale, I was amazed by how much the environment changed on our way up to the cabin.
There were mountains, trees, grass, and even a few deer we spotted on our walks around the property. It felt very similar to some of the sights you might see when visiting the Carolinas. I loved it!
Our bellies were rumbling on the way over, so we stopped into the main area of town on our way up to the cabin. Brittany suggested we eat at The Randall House (a charming little restaurant that has been around since 1881!) for lunch.
With temperatures in the low sixties and the sun peeking through the trees, it was the perfect day to sit outside and enjoy our meals. We all ordered some type of sandwich, and I went with a Southwest burger and side of chicken and wild rice soup.
Full and ready to get settled into our temporary home for the weekend, we made our way back to the car and drove another five minutes or so into the steep driveway of the cabin.
Our friends Sean and Sunny (who I actually met in Florida and now live in Scottsdale with Brittany!) are the sweet owners of this adorable retreat in the woods who generously offered us a stay for the next few days.
Isn’t it cute? For being a relatively new investment, I couldn’t get over how put together it was! It’s clear that I officially need to step up my game in the home decorating department at our house. All in due time.
Feeling cozy and welcomed by a note from the owners, we went out to the balcony and took in the view. Who knew you could see this much green in Arizona?
When I first arrived to the state, I thought it would be weird to feel like I was living near the dessert all the time. For an easy drive up a couple of hours, I was very pleasantly surprised to see so many trees and woodlands. The mountains were certainly calling…
We spent a lot of our time at the cabin relaxing, chatting, playing games, and unwinding. Isn’t that what cabins are for?
We knew we had an active couple of days ahead, and our weekend was filled with the perfect amount of rest and adventure!
Day Trip to the Grand Canyon
We started our Sunday on an early note with breakfast at the cabin. Missy was in charge of meal planning and the three of us loaded up on some essentials from the grocery store on the way up. We had (healthy and delicious) egg sandwiches every morning!
Southwest eggbeaters, a turkey sausage patty, shredded cheese, avocado, and salsa on an English muffin
A two and a half hour drive took us to the Grand Canyon, and it was absolutely incredible to experience and see in person!
(You can read all about our day trip here.)
After a long day of exploring and driving, we hung low and enjoyed a quiet night in with dinner and movies.
Missy made a fabulous crockpot salsa chicken over rice dinner for us, and it’s a personal mission of mine to recreate it and share the recipe with you soon!
Hiking Tonto Bridge Natural Park
We woke up with the sunrise on our last day together, ate breakfast, cleaned up the cabin, and packed our bags to head back to Scottsdale. Since it rained on Saturday when we originally planned to hike, we wanted to stop by Tonto Bridge Natural Park on our way out and complete the hour trip down to the bridge and back.
Unfortunately, we were about an hour too early! The park didn’t open until 9 a.m., so we drove back into town to see if we could find coffee to distract us. Randall House wasn’t open, but we did find HB’s Place!
Those have been reading the blog for a while might remember that HB is a big nick name of mine, short for Heather Betty. Who knew I had a place and everything in Pine?
We walked around for a bit and then figured out that by the time we drove all the way back to the entrance we would be close to opening time.
Right on cue, the park rangers opened the gates for us at 9 a.m. and we spent a few minutes deciding where to start.
We took Gowan Trail, which is a quick half mile hike down and back to the south end of the Natural Bridge. It’s a moderate grade path that ends below the Observation Deck.
Isn’t it gorgeous?
The path “ends” at the Observation Deck, but we weren’t the only ones who wanted to keep hiking. As we stood and witness another party in front of us go under the bridge, Brittany assured us that she has successfully hiked all the way through and up into another exit before.
“It’s easy,” she said.
“You guys will be fine,” she said.
We literally slid and jumped our way through the rocks until we made it to very middle of the bridge. It was so cool to be down there!
She asked if we wanted to take the rest of the trail up the rocks to the other exit, and we decided to go the safer route and retrace the steps we already took. It was slippery down there!
We were also on a bit of a time crunch, so we hurried back to the trail and took in as much nature as we could.
If you’re ever near the area, I would highly recommend taking a hike to the Natural Bridge in Tonto!
Our group made it back to the car in great time and Brittany drove us back to Scottsdale for a final few hours together.
Our “3 Musketeers” reunion trip was a wonderful excuse to get away and catch up with two of my very best girlfriends. I can’t wait for the next one!