Not to sound too much like the title of a Hardy Boys novel, but there's no denying there is "Danger in the Desert."
Our first brush with the dangers of the desert on this trip came while camping at Joshua Tree when we ripped shorts, shoes and some skin on the abrasive rocks. But this was mild, and while it was slightly annoying to have to need new shoes and shorts less than a week into a 5 week adventure, it was not truly scary at all. (Of course if anyone had been behind me when my shorts tore, now that could have been scary.)
Another few nights after that, we were camped near Alamagordo, New Mexico, and heard a little rattling noise near our campstove. I shined the lantern out of the tent, expecting to run off some little squirrel like creature, and what do I see? What I saw was the back of a very large skunk who looked like he was standing up on the bench seat of the picnic table and playing with the knobs on my stove. Once I realized who, or should I say what the creature was, I decided against my original plan of yelling at it to frighten it away. Instead I stuck my head back in my tent and zipped the flap while praying for my guest to leave without making a stink. Thank goodness he did, but he hung around right next to me for quite some time.
So, there's a number of lessons learned here about not wearing flip flops in the desert, being careful where you step or reach and above all, trying at all cost to avoid hotels in the middle of nowhere.