A year ago, my best friends in the entire world moved nearly 1500 miles away. I still miss them terribly, but a few months ago I finally had enough money saved for a plane ticket to Phoenix. I got together with a mutual friend, and soon we were speeding down a runway at five in the morning, excited and ready to go.
The first thing we did after we got off the plane was to throw our stuff in the car and head north to Sedona, Arizona. The first day was mind-boggling, there was so much to see on the trip, and there was so much to catch up on with my friends. Thankfully, we had plenty of time in the car. Arizona is beautiful, and is entirely different from what I am used to. From the saguaro cacti and the endless sand, to the breathtaking mountains, I couldn’t take it in fast enough.
My first glimpse of Sedona was of gorgeous red mountains rising out of a spread of desert foliage. Later, we were given the opportunity to further investigate this strange landscape on a hike through the mountains. Where I was used to grass covering soft, moist dirt, there was a vast assortment of rocks, sand, and dust in multiple warm colors. Where I was used to dandelions and various other weeds, various barbed plants popped out at me. Where I was used to trees being tall, always reaching higher and higher, towards the sky, there were short, twisted, bare trees, different, but still beautiful. One of the most striking things about the Sedona landscape was the endless topaz sky, which was a stark contrast to the orangey-red mountains, but somehow worked together with them perfectly, each showing off the other in the best way possible.
I will never forget visiting Slide Rock, just north of Sedona. Once we got used to the shock of the icy sixty degree water, we spent several hours splashing around, sunbathing, and riding the current down between the slippery-smooth rocks. We somehow talked each other into jumping off of a fairly high ledge into the crystal-clear, spring-fed river below, which is something none of us would have experienced if we’d been alone.
Finally, we headed back towards Phoenix, exhausted but happy. The rest of the week was spent basking in each other’s company. The funny thing about friendship is that we had just as much fun goofing around and making videos together in their kitchen in the new house in Queen Creek as we did exploring Sedona. It was full of late nights, videos, and trips to the pool or to Wal-Mart. It was almost possible to forget they’d even moved, as we did the girly things we have always done. Sure, we’ve moved on from Full House and American Girl Dolls, but we are still the same inseparable people underneath.
My trip to Arizona was one of the best trips of my life. I got to see and experience things I never could have at home. I also learned that friendship is beyond time and distance. People can remain friends in spite of overwhelming circumstances, if that is what they really want. I know that it is entirely possible for people to pick up right where they left off, even after several months of separation. I have also learned to enjoy every second I have with any of my friends, and that the best memories can be made with the simplest things.
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