Friday, April 30, 2010

Gilbert Ray Campground, Sonoran Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, and who broke our door?

Driving to Gilbert Ray Campground northwest of Tucson was quite a ride. 

Read my earlier post about getting lost and then add this story to it! 

We came in from the north.  We took W Avre Valley Rd from I-10.  Went west on it and then turned south on Sandario Road.  That goes for 10 miles or so until it reaches Mile Wide Road where we turned left.  That brought us past the Sonora Desert Museum and to the second entrance to the McCain Loop Rd where we went right to get to Gilbert Ray Campground. 

Let me go back to Sandario Rd.  It is so full of dips!  I was following Shae who was driving the truck pulling the camper.  I saw our things flinging up and down as he traveled somewhat slowly down the long road.  I just prayed the Lord would put angels to hold our things in place.  One of the hard things about traveling full time is that we got rid of most of what we owned.  We either gave it away or sold it.  I still have some in a storage trailer in our friend's cow pasture but not much.  I was always reminding myself that "I can't take it to heaven".  There were days that were more difficult than others as I saw things that I liked leave my home.  It was very character changing for me.  So, as I saw our things getting tossed around in the camper driving down the awful road, I had to keep reminding myself that it is just stuff.  I can't stress about it or worry.  It is a constant choice to keep things in perspective.  Yet, I know that we are to be good stewards of what God has given us.  Shae works hard to make the money that pay for everything we own.  So, I pray for God to protect our things from breaking, yet know that if I do lose something it is not the end of the world.

Shae was the first to go into the camper.  Things weren't terrible in the front.  The back was a mess.  Stuff had been tossed everywhere, but thankfully nothing was broken.  After about an hour of cleanup, the camper was back to normal.
There was a nice concrete pad at our site.

My teens do sword fighting for exercise in our campsite at Gilbert Ray Campground.

Gilbert Ray Campground is very nice.  I didn't ask if they had a shower house, I just assumed they did since they didn't have full hook ups.  I won't make that mistake again.  There is no shower house.  We planned on taking showers the day we arrived, so instead, we continued to stink.  Sink baths only last so long, so we did eventually take turns having showers outside.  I washed the girls hair with the outdoor shower.  One night, I went out after dark and started my shower.  The wind was so cold and I kept screaming quietly when the air would blow on me.  I found out there was a star gazing group just through the bushes.  I am sure they had a good laugh as they heard me freezing. 

The cactus were in bloom, so hikes were beautiful.  The bad part is that the rattle snakes were coming out and being found all over the campground.  That makes it hard with the kids running everywhere.  I had to be watching out all of the time.  There are also a lot of mountain lions in Arizona, so we had to watch the kids on any hikes we went on.  It makes it difficult with so many little ones.  I don't know how many times Gabriel almost fell into a cactus.  The spines on those things are huge!

We stayed in campsite C1, which is the biggest site in the campground.  They gave it to us since we had so two vehicles and two trailers.  It was nice to have some privacy.  It used to be the camp host site.

Of course, we loved the Sonora Desert Museum.  We bought a family year pass, so went 4 times in a week.  Josie loved all of the bronze animal sculptures.  She kissed them over and over.

There is so much to do there for everyone. 

The Saguaro National Park was just a few miles down the road.  It is amazing to drive through so many stunning cactus.  They have a great Junior Ranger Program there.  We always have Josie do the programs, even though she is a little young, at 3 yrs old.  But, it would be hard on her if Gabriel and Naomi always got badges as she didn't.  So, Shae took her and read her the questions and helped her find the answers.  When we went back inside to get their badges for completing the book, the Ranger at the counter looked unsure about a 3 yr old actually completing the older kids booklet.  She took Josie's book and began to ask her the questions to see if she could really do such a difficult book.  Josie answered every question correctly!  The Ranger told me, "I was sceptical that a 3 yr old could actually do this program, but I was wrong!  She did great!" 

We went for the drive around the scenic loop.  Shae stopped the van so we could look at the holes made in the ground by animals.  I opened the side door so the kids could see them.  As I went to close it, Shae told me he would do it by driving forward and then putting on the brakes.  Then, the door would slide forward and shut.  This is something he and I have done for years with different vehicles.  So, I sat back as he pulled forward, but he slammed on the brakes!  Wow!  We flew forward, thankfully in our seat belts.  The door rushed forward and smashed into the lock.  Well, it closed, but we were all a little surprised at the force of it.  He just cringed and kept going.  We enjoyed the rest of the drive down the terribly bumpy dirt road.  We were almost out of gas and I had read the map wrong.  I thought the scenic drive was a lot shorter than it really was.  So, when we arrived back at the visitor's center, we were very low on gas and now our sliding door wouldn't open!  The door jammed when Shae put on the brakes too hard!  The kids and I went back inside and left Shae alone to fix it.  I have learned over the years to leave him be when something like that happens.  We try not to bother him when he is fixing broken items.

He did fix it, though.  I was not surprised, he can do just about anything.  That is what is nice, if he can break it, he sure can fix it!

All in all, we had a wonderful time in that area.  We shopped at a grocery store that made me feel like we were in Mexico.  It was fun to try to figure out what to do with all the different foods they sold there.  We left the area ready to get to a new state and maybe some trees!

1 comment:

  1. LOL! Yeah, that was fun...and crazy! But, you skipped the whole part in the story about the bumpy drive where Gabriel got car sick and threw up all over the place...not pleasant...poor guy...
    Great post! Luv it, luv you! <3
    Hanna :)


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