Surrounded by clusters of Oak trees while breathing in smoke from a campfire, AP Computer Science teacher Wayne Davies and PACE assistant Amity Davies relax and enjoy the night air. As a way to bring their family of six closer, Mr. and Mrs. Davies and their four children are camping across the Western United States. 

“We decided to travel 45 minutes back to Flagstaff and bought camping gear and food for the night for $85 and $6 for a campground spot and we spent the next days enjoying the canyon.”

“We like to camp a lot during the summer and we travel everywhere visiting friends and family,” Mrs. Davies said. “Our family loves traveling so it’s something fun to do for both of us.”

Instead of traveling by plane, they prefer to take road trips to nearby states. By traveling in a car, they can take multiple days to reach their destination and see all the landmarks on the way. 

With our family, my favorite place to travel to is to my family property in Montana,” Mrs. Davies said. “We have 40 acres of land that we can hike, ride four wheelers, camp, swim, fish, shoot and all that at the base of a mountain about 45 minutes outside of Great Falls, MT.”

Their first experience camping was at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Ever since then, they haven’t gone back to buying hotel rooms.

Our first time seeing the Grand Canyon was super last minute so when we arrived, we looked into a hotel at the south entrance but the cheapest room was $225 a night and we were poor college students at the time,” Mr. Davies said. “We decided to travel 45 minutes back to Flagstaff and bought camping gear and food for the night for $85 and $6 for a campground spot and we spent the next days enjoying the canyon.”

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Some of the places Mr. and Mrs. Davies and their family have traveled to over nine national parks, mountains, lakes and beaches. The favorite, being Yellowstone National park.

“We were hiking in a small stream with rocks and trees and our kids were jumping from stone to stone over the creek and [Mrs. Davies] decided to join them and she slipped.”

“We have been to Yellowstone several different times and I still haven’t been able to see everything there is to see in that park,” Mr. Davies said.

Despite all the fun memories Mr. and Mrs. Davies have made over the past 26 years, there have been some moments of panic.

“Our Death Valley trip was probably the craziest camping experience I’ve ever had because I got stranded while trying to get gas into our car for several hours and Mrs. Davies split her head open,” Mr. Davies said. “We were hiking in a small stream with rocks and trees and our kids were jumping from stone to stone over the creek and [Mrs. Davies] decided to join them and she slipped. The park ranger recommended that we go back to Las Vegas and get it checked on but we ended up staying a few more days.”

As they continue to add more camping trips to their growing list, Mr. and Mrs. Davies hope to expand past the west.

Our next big plan is to travel to see Mount Rushmore in South Dakota because we really want our kids to experience many different places and to see famous places,” Mrs. Davies said. “There are also a lot of other interesting sites to see near there that we will go see like Devils Tower National MonumentJewel Cave, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and Wind Cave National Park.”

Do you enjoy camping?