Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Saguaro National Park

Chasing the Sunset

Last week I flew to Tucson, Arizona for a week of National Park adventures! I landed in the afternoon; after resting for a few hours, my family went out to chase the sunset.  We drove up through the mountains and out to Saguaro National Park.  It was beautiful.  The cacti were so tall and strong.  I stood in the sunset and looked out over the desert- it was so different from New York City.


Saguaro National Park

The next morning, I met up with my friend Raven to explore the park.  We were a little shy at first- our parents are friends and they really wanted us to get along.  At first we were both a little skeptical, but by the end of the day, we were great friends!


Saguaro National Park

The first thing you need to know about Saguaro National Park is that it's HOT! Arizona isn't humid like NYC, but you can definitely feel the heat.  We decided to do the Junior Ranger program; luckily we did most of it in the shade.  You learn a lot about desert plants and animals.  My favorites were javelinas and palo verde trees.  There were so many kinds of cactus to learn! This is me in front of a prickly pear cactus.


Saguaro National Park

Raven turned out to be an excellent guide - she breezed right through the Junior Ranger booklet and helped me with mine. In the end, we only got one question wrong. Even though Arizona's state bird, the cactus wren, lives inside the Saguaro cacti, it is actually woodpeckers who make the holes!

Saguaro National Park

When we finished our booklets, we went to the Ranger Station to be sworn in. Here I am with a really nice ranger. I was proud to earn my first pin in the Western Region. The Junior Ranger program at Saguaro is really nice. I would recommend that you bring colored pencils, since there are many spots where you need to draw. I told Raven how I thought it was funny that there was a petroglyph activity, since I had already done the Junior Ranger program at Petroglyph National Monument in April!

Saguaro National Park

After we got our badges, Raven and I went out to the desert garden. She took this photo of me with the mountains in the background. I loved Saguaro National Park! It is exactly as I imagined it would be. If you are in Arizona, you should definitely go!

13 comments:

  1. Saguaro National Park is really pretty! Weren't you afraid of falling into the cacti? My favorite picture is of you at the ranger station!

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    1. I was a little afraid of the cacti- but not really. Even though it doesn't look like it, I was a few feet away from them. I was more scared of a rattlesnake or scorpion coming out!

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  2. What a fun trip! Meeting someone who you don't know well is always a little nervewracking at first. The first time I met my best friend Dani I clung to my usual friends Kaya and Josefina for the first few hours! But, like you and Raven, we became really good friends by the end of the day.

    Congrats on your first Western Region badge!

    ~Saoirse (saoirsesspace-ag.blogspot.com)

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    1. Hi Saoirse! Thank you for your well-wishes. Isn't it fun to meet other kids? Raven is a great friend now and I'll really miss hanging out with her.

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  3. Hi Inky!

    It looks like you and Raven had a lot of fun together! Saguaro National Park is so beautiful! :)

    I loved the picture of you with the cacti, but weren't you afraid? I love the picture of you getting you certificate too!

    Congratulations on your first Junior Ranger badge for the Western Region!

    Love,
    Reese <3

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    1. Hi Reese!

      I wasn't afraid of the cacti- I was afraid of the desert wildlife like scorpions and rattlesnakes! I had a lot of fun getting my certificate- the ranger was really nice.

      Thanks for your comment!

      <3, Inky

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  4. Salut, Inky!
    Saguaro National Park is beautiful! I have yet to see cacti in person, but I like how they look. You and Raven look like you had a fun time. Congrats on your Junior Ranger badge!
    Bisous,
    Sabine

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    1. Salut Sabine,

      You should definitely check out a wild cactus sometime. They're pretty cool. They're called "desert hotels" because so many animals use them as a home. Much love to you and Sandrine!

      Inky

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  5. Looks like a lot of fun, Inky! I've never been to Arizona, but if we ever go, we'll be sure to check out that park.

    I'll definitely remember about the woodpeckers. ;-)

    Love,
    Summer

    P.S. Your outfit is great! Perfect for a Junior Ranger.

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    1. Summer, someday you should definitely go to Arizona! It was so beautiful. I was surprised we hadn't gone sooner, especially since it's so close to New Mexico.

      Thank you for the compliment on my outfit. :)

      Love,
      Inky

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  6. That looks like fun! Your and Raven's outfits are perfect for hiking! It sure looks hot, but in an odd way it's simply amazingly beautiful. I can't even describe it that well!

    I can understand the whole 'friends because our parents are friends'. It's always a little awkward at first, but it always gets better.

    ~Madeline

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    1. Hi Madeline!

      It was beautiful, you are very right.

      Sometimes it can be so awkward when you have to meet your parents' friends' kids. Luckily Raven was really nice and we got along very well. Phew!

      -Inky

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  7. I love all your adventures in the Southwest-especially the one in Bandelier. I live in NM and have been there! If you like saguaros and javelinas, you might like the book "The Three Little Javelinas" by Susan Lowell and Jim Harris. It is a Southwestern version of The Three Little Pigs-set right in the desert of Arizona!

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