My family loves camping. We especially enjoy Sunset Crater, just outside of Flagstaff, in the shadow of Kachina Peaks (also known as San Francisco Peaks). The air is filled with the scent of pine, you walk around and set up your tent on black lavabed.... what more can you ask for? Oh, yes, cooler temperatures than Phoenix, right? You got that, too. We camped there this past 4th of July weekend. We enjoyed the cool temperatures, hiked a little, the kids rode their bikes, and the little scooter. The first afternoon we even got the rains. We enjoyed the clouds coming in, then sat in the tent and watched the storm, starting with heavy, male rain, which turned into softer, female rain (I did not make these names up, I learned them from a Dineh guide in Chinle). The rain cooled things down even more than we expected. We could actually wear long sleeved shirts and long pants! By nighttime the rain stopped just in time for the last rays of the setting sun to illuminate Sunset Crater so we could enjoy the colors that gave it its name.
We didn't go to see fireworks this 4th of July, instead, we gathered around a campfire that we made, enjoying the fresh, pine scented, cool air, and each other's company.
We stayed an extra day, but the rain didn't come again. In fact, even the clouds stayed away. Still, it was a wonderful, though sunny (if you don't live in Phoenix, ignore the "though") day, with temperatures just reaching the 80s.
I didn't hike as much as I usually do on camping trips. Instead, I got to read and knit a bit. I started two knitting projects, I hope I will finish them by the end of the summer, though one is a summer top that would be nice if I would get to wear before the fall...
We're back in the heat of the desert and the city. You know, even the desert would be way cooler if we didn't have all the concrete jungle around us. You guessed right, I don't necessarily like the city, but it's all right, as long as we can take trips away from here pretty often. We have possibilities in the city that we wouldn't have if we lived in a small town or in the middle of the woods; I know. My kids get more opportunities to try out different activities than I did, since I grew up in a small town. So, we deal with the city, the traffic, the noise, but the best part is that we live close enough to some wilderness, that we can just take weekend trips and be out of here. It is a pretty good deal, after all.