This time, we stayed home, and the visitors came to us. R. and S. and their adorable girls aren't actually our cousins, but we've been friends for so long, they are like family. (Dad and I went to college with S. back in the previous millennium! )
We decided to take them to one of our favorite places on Earth.
Yes, I'd classify this as the desert biome!
We packed a picnic and found some shade under an ancient cottonwood tree.
After the heat of the day broke a bit, we took a hike...
...chatted a bit with the locals...
...and admired this guy, who was kind enough to pose for us.
It was a lo-o-o-ong hike.
But look at our reward!