Lets go to the desert and shoot some guns


There is nothing particularly spectacular about how we know Ian and Amanda Krekelberg other than the fact that until we met them last week I had only ever spoken to Ian on the phone a few times, about 5 years ago. But to be honest in this Facebook age that’s not unique for me nor unusual generally. We have kids of similar ages (although they have way more than us, 4 with #5 on the way!) and Ian and I share a liking for post apocalyptic novels – plenty of reason to ask to meet up. Once met we all got along and we stayed, once last weekend and returning this weekend for a couple of nights.

First we zoomed around a massive lake on jet-skis. And it was fun!!! Saguaro lake was beautiful and huge. Man made by the Stewart Mountain dam on the Salt River it is a great spot for bird and wildlife watching. A friend of the Kreklebergs took us out on his boat to explore the lake shores, spot some birds with the boys and chill out while Amanda looked after Orla. Then we ate Italian food and the kids played, it was great.

Jet Skiing at Saguaro Lake, Arizona

Ian on a jet ski

The beautiful mountains of Arizona as seen from Lake Saguaro

The beautiful mountains of Arizona as seen from Lake Saguaro

After our week in Canyon Country we headed south again to Mesa for some more American adventures. We had a campfire on Friday, complete with s’mores. It seemed like a great idea until we got it lit and realised that cooking on a fire when it’s alreay 100 degrees Fahrenheit out isn’t such fun… it’s more like fiery torture, literally “hellish”! But we did it none the less and the food was great. The kids slept well and we stayed up late playing board games after a spot of scorpion hunting with a UV light, as you do of an evening in Arizona.

Amanda’s parents live nearby and happen to have a pool so we headed for an afternoon in the pool with the kids. They loved it.


Fun in the pool with giant inflatable killer whales

Early evening and we were waiting for their brother in law to arrive with a suitable off road truck to negotiate the desert sufficiently to the spot where people go “to shoot stuff up”, ya know, TV sets stuff like that.


Me aiming at a clay pigeon with a shot gun. Admittedly I’m not great with a moving target and didn’t get a single one… Rob held it well for the Deans though

Guns really are not my thing. I’ve shot a rabbit on my land before and my husband has his license so we have guns at home but it’s nothing like this. They’re tools for controlling rabbit populations and so on. We eat what we kill and it’s a heavily legislated sport in the UK. I wasn’t going to go… but I was persuaded and figured it would make a good post. Also, Amanda was looking after the kids so it was our first opportunity for a couple of hours “off” together in two and a half months – too good to turn down!

I climbed up on Robs lap as the truck was just a front cab and there were four of us squeezing in along with the various guns and ammo. Eventually we arrived at a spot littered with shot up stuff and empty cartridges and shells. We set up the clay discs as targets and had a go…

Caitlin Dean

Me firing a .40 calibre hand gun

Okay it was quite fun, although I did feel quite overwhelmed most of the time. I said “Blimey” almost every shot as the power nearly took me off my feet. My shoulder bruised from the shot gun and ears ringing we headed back satisfied that I had actually not only had I hit a few clays, they had exploded in a dramatic, satisfying and quite scary display of the guns immense power.

Rob Dean

Rob with a .22 hand gun. Cowboy style!

In a brilliant end to the day which felt like a “day off” Amanda’s parents babysat while we went to a Teppanyaki/sushi restaurant with a comedy chef who threw fake eggs at us, made continuous jokes and flicked food in our mouths.

Got Sushi, Mesa

Our hilarious Teppanyaki Chef at Got Sushi, Mesa. We’re going to take the kids to a teppenyaki place soon, they’ll love the performance!

Sushi from Got Sushi

Fabulous sushi. We are getting used to the way they box up your left overs so we enjoyed this for breakfast on Sunday.


We may not have really known Ian and Amanda before we arrived in Mesa but we left having made good friends, or as all the children found easier to comprehend and determined to use, cousins!


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