With the start of summer freshly upon us college students, my friends and I decided to start the much anticipated break with a memorable trip. What better way to celebrate our hard work than to pack up our truck and boat and head to beautiful Tonto National Forest here in east central Arizona to relax and swim in the refreshing water at Saguaro Lake?

Starting early in the morning, our group drove to the east side of the valley past Tempe in search of our summer destination. After the 45-minute drive full of rowdy college students talking, laughing and singing to the latest tunes on the radio, we made it to the dock where we unloaded the boat into the water.

After everyone was situated, and after we were unpleasantly surprised by the wind’s decision to direct the sunscreen’s blasts in our mouths, we departed for the east side of the lake to start our fun. The brisk, cool wind whipped our hair on our faces as the boat flew across the water.

The temperature was perfect; the Arizona heat wasn’t too hot for May, and the water was refreshing to the touch. Saguaro Lake, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, Photo: Andrea Crandall

The boat came to a stop, with the group deciding that our first water adventure was going to be wakeboarding. One by one, all 10 of us took our turns, some more experienced than others. This was my first attempt at wakeboarding, and to be honest, I found it quite challenging. I would successfully get pulled up to be on top of the water, only to fall over a split second later. My good friend Miranda boarded the water with ease, making the sport look all too easy to do. Nevertheless, we all had a good time in the water.

After a few hours of wakeboarding, our stomachs were growling with hunger. We pulled over to an area between canyon walls, which offered shade from the now scorching sun. We all ate, relaxed and bobbed our heads to the loud music, resting our bodies before our next activity took place.

With our minds and bodies recharged, our next course of action was to go tubing. With a rope connecting a large water tube to the boat, two by two we went out with our life jackets and faced the adrenaline of being whipped around the lake with the fear of being thrown off and a chance to become airborne while hitting a wave.

Without a doubt, tubing is unbelievably fun, and even more humorous to watch. To watch the faces of pure excitement turning into concentration and fear is amusing. It is a good idea to wear tight shorts while tubing, however. Getting thrown off and hitting the water at an angle gives you a high possibility that those may come completely off, which a few of us experienced that day.

The tubing left us all exhaustePhoto: hydrollix, Flickrd. We laughed about the wipe outs and how much fun it was. With our recently sunburned faces and tired bodies, we cleaned up the boat and headed to the dock. We easily hooked the boat back up to the truck and headed home just as the sun was setting, remembering all the fun moments we had just previously shared.

Wakeboarding, tubing and swimming at the lake was successful, with everyone having a great time. It was a perfect way to start off the summer break and left us determined to do it all again sometime very soon.