Arizona Car Camping Adventure

On the way from our home in Texas to the St. George Marathon, in Utah, my husband and I stopped at his sister's property in Williams, Arizona, which is just a few miles from the Grand Canyon. No one else would be there, but it was a perfect place to stop on the way and car camp. Here's what happened two nights before my marathon - that night that they say is so important to get a good night's sleep for a marathoner!

After two days of driving, we set up camp by attaching our car tent to the back of our car. After being amazed at the sky full of stars, I climbed into my sleeping bag and quickly fell asleep. I heard my husband get up in the middle of the night to air up our mattress that we were sleeping on and then to fiddle with our broken portable heater.

Then I woke up because my toes were so numb from the cold. I got up and crawled out of my sleeping bag to find my hand warmers and slipped them into my socks, but the hand warmers didn't feel warm. I wondered if it was just too cold. We decided to use the car heater a few times.

Then there was a noise. Something was trying to get into our car tent. Maybe it was a mouse. It was hard to get back to sleep knowing something was out there and wouldn't go away. I got up to see if I could spot it and it was freezing outside of my sleeping bag. Back in my bag, I heard the noise again and again. I wondered if I'd wake up with a mouse crawling on me.

Then I heard what sounded like a burro, but what scared me was the sound of howling coyotes, multiple times. My husband said that we could close the car hatch door if they got too close.

Finally, it was morning! We took a walk, enjoying the sunny morning before driving into St. George where I would run the marathon. Even though I was scared and didn't get much sleep, car camping was a fun adventure and I wouldn't have changed a thing except for the mouse and coyote sounds in the middle of the night!

Now it's been 13 days since I ran my 15th marathon. I'm taking it easy. It's been fun to walk my dog, ride my bike and do some strength training, too.


  1. Oh no. This is something I would totally do! Decide camping was fun and get a terrible night's sleep right before a race. It looks beautiful though. I bet the entire trip was gorgeous.
    Tonight is my "must sleep well" night so I hope it works out. We probably won't get in until 11 tonight so I hope I can sleep in tomorrow!

  2. Scary!! That is not my kind of camping for sure!

  3. I love camping but never seem to sleep that well either! I hope your leg is improving with the rest. I'm glad you finished the St George marathon safe and well - it looks like an amazing experience!

  4. I always wanted to camp in the desert. I'm not much of a camper 'cause I have always feel like I'm cold and wet. It's probably much different in Az, you don't think you wake up feeling damp, like you do here on the east coast.

  5. Now that's some camping story!! Yikes. Hope you are getting better with the rest and enjoying the break!


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