After replacing all the camping gear with desert travel (survival) gear (mostly water), we packed everybody in the trusty 1977 Chevy Suburban. Being a nine passenger vehicle with dual air conditioning, we could all travel comfortably.
Our destination was to find saguaros and scorpions, which was relatively easy here in the desert, sometime too easy. The best place to find these and other desert displays was to head straight to the towns of Cave Creek and Carefree.
In Cave Creek, we parked on what used to be my Great Uncle Casper’s property near the base of Black Mountain. There was a smaller mountain that he owned we called Casper’s Mountain. He owned several properties in the surrounding cacti covered hills. We climbed Casper’s Mountain using the road the he had spent years bull dozing through rock and cactus. On his death bed, he would tell visitors to look at the rock on his the bed stand. He said that was his life, moving rocks. It wasn’t negative, but more of a glimpse of how much he loved the desert. He loved having family out at Cave Creek for picnics which consisted of bone fires, hot dogs with all the trimmings, roasted marshmallows, hot chocolate, and all the other fixings.
We were successful in finding the saguaros and scorpions, but had to leave them behind. We did manage to stop at a gift store where Mark and Richard found plastic encapsulated scorpions. Mark had picked out a bolo tie with a small scorpion and Richard chose a paper weight with a large scorpion. They are amazing creatures.
Another desert adventure was a trip to Nogales , Arizona and across the border to Nogales, Mexico . It was a routine tourist’s trip until we discovered the boys smuggled switch blade knives that where purchased without their parents knowledge. I gained from that experience because Ken made the boys give their knives to me for safe keeping.