Parky Likes to Rock Out!

Story By Parky in California

Have you ever been poked by a cactus? Our little friendly raccoon enjoys camping, hiking and rock climbing in the Sonoran desert. Sometimes when we least expect it we get poked by something sharp and painful. Parky likes to walk it off by hiking with his friends through the desert landscape. There is always something blooming in the desert although some of the blooms are very small and hard to see. We pause and carefully look at the scruffy plants until there it is! A miniature blossom every bit as beautiful as the gaudy dahlia, but not as obvious. Along the trail are occasionally big, scary, Tarantula spiders, hummingbirds, chipmunks and even a family of desert foxes. They make a kind of harsh, sharp bark, just to let us know they are there.

In the evening Parky picks out a sandy place to roll out our sleeping bags, not too close to the brush where scorpions roam at night. Then we start a small fire as the birds sing their good-night songs. We cook our simple dinner. Parky will eat anything, but especially when it’s cooked over a fire. The dark blue sky turns black and the stars begin to twinkle overhead. We like to camp when the moon is full and the coyotes sing us to sleep. It’s been a good day and I think I can see Parky smiling as he falls asleep.

I am surprised to awaken to rays of sunshine streaking across the sky and the sound of rocks rattling together. What is that raccoon up to now? He is somehow stacking round rocks on top of each other while he waits for me to wake up. A natural alarm clock. There is a surprise for breakfast, cooking on the fire… Spam! I told you he would eat anything cooked over a fire. We are both excited this morning to try something new after stretching our muscles. We are going to try rock climbing for the first time. We pick a mountain and we both decide what route to take to the top. The sun is warm and the rock face is cold as we help each other up the mountain. Sometimes, Parky’s bushy tail whacks me in the face and I sneeze. We both laugh and climb the last bit to the top. It’s great to have a friend to share the hard times and the Spam times.