Domestic Travel

Tucson, Arizona

8 - 13 August, 1996

From Alissa's 1996 notebook: Quick Trip to Tucson:

"Had a great visit with Tracey, Neal, Jacob & Samuel. Temp got to
115 degrees Farenheit out at Saguaro Nat'l Monument. Trip going: 19 hours.
Slept in the van for 2 hours before waking the Phillips. VERY HOT! Trip home,
about 23 hours.Stopped at Walsenburg, Colorado rest area & slept a couple
of hours. Never [doing that much traveling in such a short time] again!"

Eli's favorite travel outfit. Photo by Alissa
Eli on the road
& the red cap
8 August 1996
Bail out, Kara!!
Kara jumps in,
or does she?!
10 August 1996
Brianna going head first!
Brianna dives in
behind Kara
10 August 1996
Oh. Afternoon, Dad!
Neal & little Sammy
after naptime
10 August 1996
The kitchen has the crowd
Neal & Samuel,
Brianna & Alissa
10 August 1996

We had this totally brilliant idea of packing up the kids and driving all the way down to Tucson
for a long weekend, to visit my sister and her family. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm glad
we did it when the kids were small. They were used to traveling long distances already, from our
occasional trips to coastal Texas. Personally, I couldn't remember if I'd ever been to Tucson before,
and Alissa was certain that she hadn't been there either. Another thing we'd never heard of, and couldn't
imagine, was Tucson's monsoon season. We found out about that on this trip, though! And the heat?
We expected that, and we got alot of everything we were, and were not, expecting.

Alissa & I spent half-a-day climbing. Photo by Alissa
"Chihuahua Power,"
on Mt. Lemmon
11 August 1996
Jenna imitating the drooping saguaro overhead
At Saguaro Nat'l
12 August 1996
Brianna & Kara make haste!
Eli finds a bug!
Saguaro Nat'l Mon.
12 August 1996
Gather 'round the information sign! Photo by Alissa
Dad & the kids at
Saguaro Nat'l Mon.
12 August 1996
Boy, it's hot. And it's only 10 A.M. Photo by Tracey
The Boykin Family at
Saguaro Nat'l Mon.
12 August 1996

The drive to Tucson wore us out! Not wanting to awaken my sister at 4 AM, we napped in the van in front
of their house for a few hours before announcing our presence. Late in the afternoon, Neal took me to his
favorite beer cave, and we bought a selection of fine brews to take back to the house. One great thing about
Tracey's & Neal's house was their swimming pool. The kids enjoyed playing in the water with their cousins.
Every night, Tracey would prep the meal, and when Neal wasn't working, he executed expert barbecue skills.
The youngest kids, Tracey's & Neal's Sammy & our Taylor, had been born within a day of each other, and their
little biological clocks were synchronized to nearly the same naptime schedule.

Air- AND water-cooled kids!
Back in the pool!
Airborne Kara
12 August 1996
...and when you're thirsty, you just drink it!
Jake imitates a
fancy fountain
12 August 1996
Brianna the meteorite!
Brianna flying in
for a splashdown
12 August 1996
Owww. Owww. Photo by Alissa
Eli rescues Dad
after "the ribbing"
12 August 1996
Gotcha! Jenna makes ready to duck! Photo by Alissa
Super Soaker Wars
Battleground Tucson
12 August 1996

Tracey bravely offered to stay home with our kids so I could go rock climbing on Mount Lemmon for
half a day. Alissa went with me as my "belay slave," but she joined me on a route called "Wounded Knee."
It didn't turn out well for her: The airy exposure effectively ended her fledgling climbing career. Alas!

Tracey and Alissa rounded up our broods for a short tour of Saguaro National Monument. We went early
but it was still so hot. We had a swim afterwards back at their house. This is the day that Taylor wandered into
the pool from the edge. I dove in to scoop him up, not seeing the submerged bench seat below me. My ribs
made a mighty cracking sound, and I knew I was hurt. Still, I managed to get Taylor's head above water a few
seconds after he fell in. I'm certain my ribs were broken; they ached for months.

More poolside shenanigans. Photo by Alissa
Au naturel and
the latest fashions
12 August 1996
Content to dogpaddle the day away. Photo by Alissa
Kara widing the
watew wing
12 August 1996
Heyyy! Where's my diaper!? Photo by Alissa
Eli realized he
was unclothed!
12 August 1996
Smiling big! Photo by Alissa
Sammy & Tracey
sunshiny smiles
13 August 1996
Dang, it's hot down here! Photo by Alissa
Loading the van for
the drive home
13 August 1996

I'd never figured a place like Tucson could have a rainy season. Sometime while we were there, we
went souvenir shopping in town. The skies opened up, and a cooling deluge pounded the city. Dry washes
overflowed across many of the roads, making the route-finding interesting, to say the least!

So many questions, Jake!
Jake keeps Alissa
informed on things
13 August 1996
Almost time to leave. Photo by Neal
Group Photo #1
Say "Cheeese!"
13 August 1996
What's so funny, Bubby!? Photo by Neal
Group Photo #2
Say "Ahh-Ha-Ha!!"
13 August 1996
Only Cousin Caleb is missing!
Sammy & Taylor
13 August 1996
Load 'em up... where's my keys?? Photo by Tracey
Ready to go:
Cheyenne or Bust
13 August 1996

We packed up and made ready for the drive back on the morning of August 13th. Heading East, we passed
near Cochise's Stronghold, a place I have wanted to climb at for years (there wasn't time for that now). Our kids
were very well-behaved on this grueling marathon, thank goodness! When we reached Walsenburg, Colorado,
we pulled off the road to sleep, in the van. By the time we returned to Cheyenne, all of us were exhausted.

Next time, we vowed to consider flying...

All images 2011 EBBoykin, Jr
unless otherwise specified.

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