Desert Update: Spring in the Desert

Posted on May 2, 2021

Cactus flowering in the desert. Desert update
Prickly Pear Cactus Bloom

Spring has sprung, and it sprang so fast we didn’t get our March and April posts out! My apologies to everyone who enjoy receiving our updates and were concerned about us. However, we have been thriving in the desert, as you will see.

Desert Friends and Meetups

Spring in the desert. Viewing the Desert from Valley View Trail
Valley View Trail

In our last communication we were settling into Tucson for a new nursing contract. We spent a week at Pima County Fairgrounds as we scouted out spots to boondock. This turned out to be a great idea because we had snow that week. Brrr, I didn’t know it could get so cold in Tucson!

We did happen to find a great boondocking location called Snyder Hill BLM, off of Old Aho Way. [link to map] It was a great camping spot. The Connell family came with us to Snyder Hill. Stephen and Sarah were new to boondocking. We were happy to provide moral support for their first experience because they supplied our children with three new playmates and a dog to help dig holes in the desert. 

After a week the Connells left and another couple of families pulled  onto Snyder Hill BLM. We were quick to invite them all to circle up with us. Dub and Jessica with their three children, and Roger and Jamie with their son, have been traveling together across the states. Jessica told us they watched us on YouTube and it was our tour video that convinced them the Grand Design Solitude 3740BH was perfect for their family. 

Our three families had so much fun together hiking Snyder Hill, exploring the national park nearby, and visiting around the campfire. 

Hanging with our “Road Grandparents”

Moving to the ever popular winter destination of Arizona brought opportunities to see so many people we love. Richard and Hope of [X Marx the Spot] stayed in southern Arizona area for a workcamping job. This gave us lots of excuses to meet up, have dinners together, and hike. 

Meetup with X Marx the Spot, Days’ Great Adventure, the Machidas and No Ordinary Path

Years ago our close family friends, Sam and Diane, settled in Benson, not far from Tucson. It has been a blessing for them and for us to have extended amounts of time together. We’ve made meals together, eaten out at a local café, and completed some much needed repairs to their home.

Finally, we have enjoyed time with Richard and Bridget, our retired teachers from Alaska. They spent Christmas with us in Texas then followed us to Tucson. Bridget is a fantastic music teacher and Emma and Timmy have been learning how to play the recorder. It’s great when they can have their lessons in person.

Timmy and Emma with their teacher Miss Bridget

Spring in the Desert-Learning Opportunity

Arizona is blessed with many national parks and monuments. The residents and visitors to Tucson are doubly blessed to have one park in two locations! We hiked and explored Saguaro National Park west and east of the city. Each side has its own unique terrain, flora and fauna. 

Desert hangout, kids hanging out at Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park-Hiking Buddies

We have seen and admired numerous hummingbirds, Road Runners and Mourning Doves. And we were surprised by a deer in Madura Canyon who wasn’t frightened by our noise and let us admire her a short distance away. We’ve learned about Javelina (wild pigs) and Gila monsters, and heard coyotes barking in the night. We have spent so much time out under the olive tree in our campsite looking for birds and lizards. 

Desert Deer
Madura Canyon Doe

On one of my recent days off Bridget suggested a trip to Children’s Museum Tucson. You didn’t have to ask the kids twice if they wanted to go. I had the pleasure of knowing they would learn so much while they played and explored each exhibit. Homeschool win!

We can’t forget Benson’s little Visitor Center because this cute building used to be the old train depot. It is the perfect stop for history buffs, museum goers and kids alike. The kids were proud to learn about locomotion and become honorary train engineers. While there we explored several historical exhibits and studied the ATCS Monitor display of the train lines between El Paso and Phoenix.

Junior Train Engineers

April Birthday Bashes

Springtime brings two important birthdays for our family. We celebrated Carolyn’s 39th day of birth with a large party and a trip to the nail salon for the women (Emma included). Garrett helped plan an amazing surprise when Shelly and Greg Day of Days’ Great Adventure joined us in the desert for the week. Carolyn was so surprised!

Birthday Girl

And Emma also celebrated a very big milestone, her 10th birthday! Unfortunately, the weather was not conducive for a pool party, but we did have a live DJ at dinner. The kids found him to be so funny. Emma is growing up so fast! She has a loving heart and will become a kind and generous woman.

 Wrap Up

Our time here in the desert is wrapping up. We spent four months in AZ this spring. Carolyn’s job has been a great, low stress contract, allowing her to focus on family and friends. Garrett has also had a chance to flex his RV Tech knowledge as fellow RVers sought him out. 

It has been a busy and fulfilling period of time. But it is getting warm now. For us nomads that can only mean one thing: it’s time to head north!

Exciting News to Announce!

So the question now is, what are we doing next? And you won’t have to wait long to find out. This Wednesday, May 5th, watch for a special announcement video on Diary of a Family.

You also won’t want to miss our livestream on MAY 8th at 4pm central time. 

We are so excited about the plans we’ve made for the summer because you can get involved! That’s right, we are getting the D-Fam involved in our next adventure! You’re gonna love it. We can’t wait to see what you do this summer!

Expect a follow up post this week with access to our new web page dedicated to our summer campaign.