Detail 1

We had already been to Saguaro National park on the way to Las Vegas but I loved it so much I wanted to stay in the park for a couple of nights. We stayed at GIlbert Ray Campground. Such a well kept, small place with excellent amenities. A few of the campsites had covered picnic areas and we were iucky enough to score one! Unfortunately, my parents took this opportunity to dry out bags of dried cuttle fish they had received from my aunt in California (melted ice had leaked into the bags). They were fanatic about getting the stuff dried out! They even insisted on leaving it hanging from the picnic shelter overnight...which lead us to the problem of...coyotes.

Detail 2

Soooo...the coyotes did come for the fish. They could probably smell it from miles away. The rangers had to come out several times that night and shoot off warning shots. At the crack of dawn, before they could be discovered, my parents took the bags of cuttlefish down and securely hid them away in the jeep. The cuttlefish did not make a re-appearance until we got home....which lead to the discovery of a second problem...the desert air had dried the fish out soooo much it was extremely difficult to chew or even re-hydrate!!!! Don't mess with the desert climate!!!

 

Detail 3

We checked out a few of the local sites and ate at some excellent Mexican restaurants! The kids especially like Colossal Cave Mountains and the dead Cave tour (some caves are 'live" and sealed as not to change the interior environment and some are  "dead" so the kids could be more interactive.

Detail 4

Just down the hill from the caves was a cool horsebackriding spot. Some of the horses were just wandering around outside the corral, some were tacked up and some were not. Really relaxed and fun place. They even let Dani (3 at the time) ride on her own - just the mini-trail.