Springtime is when the desert truly shines. It's full of green and blossoms that offset the rich reds and browns of stone and earth. The cacti are flowering, and the sky is so blue and devoid of the harshness of summer that you actually want to drink it in. Contrary to popular belief, out past the heat-retaining asphalt, the nights are quite chilly. So chilly in fact, that in March when we went camping, my baby woke up at 1 am and screamed for 30 minutes in the car while I tried to warm him enough to go back to sleep. Thankfully I think he only woke the campers nearest us. The rest of the night was spent together in my sleeping bag, my right side going numb thanks to the thin pad we rested on.

Sleepless nights are best remedied with bacon and pancakes and eggs that just seem to taste better when camping. Jake was undeterred in his adventuring, and set off determined to get the "ball," which we eventually discovered was a hot air balloon he'd spotted in the distance. He simply couldn't understand why we could not chase after it. I was thankful when it disappeared beyond the horizon and out-of-sight, though it was laughably adorable to see his dedication to the cause.

This camping trip was a bright spot of hope that maybe, just maybe, I could learn to appreciate this desert place again after my heart was long ago stolen by the cool mountains.

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