Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Saguaro National Park
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!