I love hiking. When my husband and I drive cross country, every time we pass a mountain I shout, “I wanna climb it!” My husband, who also loves hiking, then has to take on the role of the mature and responsible one to say, “No, we can’t stop to climb every mountain we pass.” He won’t even let me ford every stream. He’s mean like that. So, I’m left in the passenger seat panting like an excited puppy at every peak we pass. We did, however, have time to climb a few mountains in Phoenix, Arizona. Today’s story is about the climb up Camel Back Mountain.
Camel Back isn’t a particularly hard climb. The only problem is that it’s just one giant rock. And when you’re climbing the spine of the camel, you could easily fall off the mountain and tumble to your death. My husband and I climbed carefully up the crowded mountain, and the only real excitement was when I put my hand on a rock and accidently groped a lizard. I think the lizard liked it.
The view from the top was gorgeous. We sat down amongst the fifty or so other hikers and enjoyed the scenery as I chugged water. I was determined not to get dehydrated in the desert sun. Heat headaches are one of my least favorite things, right behind menstrual cramps and shin splints. As we started back down the mountain I was so proud of myself. I was sunburn free and hydrated like a champ. But about fifteen minutes later the trouble began.
I had to pee. And not just a little. Like a three-year-old-at-Disney-gonna-go-in-my-princess-dress kinda pee. I have no problem peeing in the woods. That’s fine. You find a bush and drop trou. But there are no bushes on Camel Back. There aren’t even loose boulders to sneak behind. It’s just a big rock. We spent the next ten minutes stopping every time there was a twist in the trail, but as soon as I got ready to pee, another group of college kids would climb on by. My husband, being male, had no problem finding a place to water the desert, but I had no luck.
Finally, hiking was no longer an option. If I had to scramble down one more rock, I was going to wet my pants. In an act of sheer desperation, I found the biggest rock that I could, went as close to the cliff as I dared, and swimsuit peed.
For those of you who never went to summer camp, joined a swim team, or were a little girl, swim suit peeing involves pulling all the fabric to one side and peeing out the leg hole. Thankful I had stolen my husband’s basketball shorts, I channeled my inner three-year-old, and let it go. Peeing on the side of that mountain in full view of the city of Phoenix felt like one of the most daring things I had ever done. And if acting doesn’t work out, or writing for that matter, I now have practice for being homeless.
I couldn’t find any photos of Camel Back, so I have included one of another hike in Arizona from Sedona, AZ: