The Desert Experience


The kids were so excited to finally get to go camping.  Day 6 of our adventure and it was our first night setting up a tent.   The kids LOVE the head flashlights I picked up before we left.  IMG_0216

Unfortunately, we discovered we neglected to pack the poles with our tent.  So we had a family meeting round the picnic table.  We had 3 options.  1. Go to Walmart, get a new tent and come back and set it up.  2.  Go to Walmart and get a new tent and sleep in a hotel  option 3.  Sleep in the car.


The kids suggested just sleeping on the ground.  But, we were literally in the middle of the desert and Scott wasn’t sure that it was totally safe to sleep under the stars. (I was quite grateful to have that option ruled out) We all agreed on option 1.  Thankfully, there was a Walmart about 30 min away. 

When we finally settled into our sleeping bags, I was so thankful we went for that option.  We were all snuggled together in our tent and as we drifted to sleep, you could hear the desert animals come out.  Owls were hooting, coyotes barking, and other noises which I couldn’t identify.  Part of me was a little scared.  But another huge part of me was grateful for the experience.  We can read about desert animals coming out when the air cools off, but it is totally different to experience it.  To lay in your sleeping bag and hear them all around you.  It was one of those times I was grateful to stepping out of my comfort zone and a memory I will cherish..   IMG_1031

The next morning we visited the visitors center. 


Now was our chance to experience the full on desert heat.    We took a hike to see some ancient Indian petroglyphs. 

saguaro hike 3

And just to make that experience all the more memorable, Scott got to change a flat tire in that full on 104 degree desert heat.   IMG_1182

Again Walmart to the rescue, as we got two new tires put on our van while dining at Burger King.  The  Walmarts of Tuscon, AZ did well on our visit.  IMG_1189

IMG_1191I love this picture… the tire changing station in the background with the sign overhead reminding us to Savor Each Moment while enjoying some ice cream cones. 

Despite 2 unplanned Wal Mart trips, all of us agree that our time in Saguaro National Park was well worth the miles it took to get there.  And I think we all have a better understanding of what desert life is like.  IMG_1167


  1. 'Too cool', I mean 'to hot'. Love your travel log. Walmart, it can be a good thing.

  2. Words and pictures cannot possibly peculairize the unique feel, sounds and vastness of the desert. You have to experience it. So glad you did!

  3. Did you find a tumble weed! :)

  4. Well, based on all of these pictures, I haven't seen a grumpy kid yet. And the smiles on your faces tells me that fun is being had despite the setbacks. Grateful for Walmarts and ice cream cones. Also, any chance you can write this off as an epic Homeschool trip?? The kids must be learning so much!


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