Imperial Dunes

Last weekend we went camping with Eric, Casey, & Jackson. Our destination was the Imperial Dunes of southern California. The dunes are just across the border from Yuma and spitting distance from the US-Mexico border.

The Buses brought along some ATV's which is how we toured around the sand. The dunes stretch 45 miles from the southern end of the Salton Sea in California to just over the Mexican border. They're about 6 miles wide and when you're within them, often all you can see is sand. They range from rolling little bumps to mammoth wave-like piles well over 100' high!

As we sped along these huge dunes like we had wings, I couldn't help wonder how different it might be to cross them on the back of a Camel.

Back at camp the dogs patrolled and Jackson hopped about his playpen. We grilled some delicious meals, relaxed, enjoyed the campfire, and amazing starry skies.

Thanksgiving Roadtrip!

Sarah and I had another great Thanksgiving with Eric and Casey in Phoenix.

I have to plead with Casey to let us make some of the food, and this year she said we should bring appetizers and dessert. The apps and Sarah's dessert were great, but my first attempt at baking a pumpkin pie was a bit of a flop. I'll do better next time! The rest of dinner was excellent. I was a big fan of the stuffing with chestnuts, great addition Casey!

Eric and Casey are great new parents and we took it upon ourselves to relieve them of a bit of Jackson-watching time. Armed with the camera and a few toys we shuffled around on the floor trying to snap a few photos and just enjoy Jackson's crawling speed. There were a few moments (with his parents encouragement) that the little guy was close to taking his first steps. I'm writing this post a week since and I bet he's taking little staggering steps right now!

We spent Thursday just relaxing, eating, and enjoying one another's company. On Friday we loaded up the cars and drove east to Saguaro Lake. Always few steps behind the 4 sniffing dogs we hiked a senic 3 mile loop that overlooked the lake and wound back to the parking lot.

After saying goodbye to Eric, Casey, and Jackson we drove north to Tonto Natural bridge. The bridge is an arched rock formation that was slowly carved by the brook winding through the canyon. Our original plan was to drive from Tonto to a campsite and spend Saturday rock climbing near Winslow, AZ. As we drove north, we discussed when we might find time to come back again for a trip further north to see the Grand Canyon. It only took a minute for us to realize that this was our best chance to get up there soon. A few hours later we had diverted our route and arrived in Flagstaff, where the temperature was dropping, and we found the ground blanketed in snow!

We cashed in some hotel points and found a dog friendly place. On Saturday we drove north and enjoyed a snow dusted trek along the south rim of the GC. Swinging back thru Flagstaff we found a hike into an old volcano and on Sunday we leisurely made our way back to Tucson.

We had a great trip and Holiday, I hope you did too!