Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adventure Smells Like Sunscreen and Gasoline

Gracious!  What happened to May and June? Well, actually, I can tell you what happened; in May, I moved and I went to Arizona for three weeks in June.  The combination of unpacking mountains of boxes and battling the "dry," Arizona heat temporarily derailed the critical thinking center of my brain and I was unable to write.  Luckily, July is here, I (finally) have internet access in my apartment and my mental faculties have returned!
This picture has nothing to do with today's adventure, other than I took it in Arizona...

The first of many blog-worthy adventures I had in Arizona was four-wheeling with my step-dad.  *Brief time-out to address this verbiage: I'm not really sure what to call my mom's husband.  Saying "my mom's husband" is cumbersome and it implies a sense of cold ambivalence that I do not feel.  But step-dad is also awkward because they were married just last year, when I was well into adulthood.  He did not participate in my upbringing, and so I don't feel like he's really earned the "dad" part of that title.  I do not have this issue with my step-mom, who's been around since I was young and has invested a lot of "mothering" in me.  Any other grown step-children have advice?* 

Somewhere between Phoenix and Prescott. I can't tell you exactly
where because we were off the map!

Anyway, he is quite the quad enthusiast and I was super excited to explore Northern Arizona with him!  I was particularly pleased that he chose to ride in an area called "Breezy Pines," because it sounded especially whimsical! 

I made the womanly choice to wear SPF 45 sunscreen, forgoing a lovely, golden tan because the Skin Cancer Foundation told me to, we gassed up the quads and headed for the high country!

We rode thru Breezy Pines (which was pretty darn whimsical and smelled dreamy, like a hot pine forest, a smell I always associate with summer) and over a very rough road, and suddenly we were off the map!  Now, I am not a very reckless lady, in fact, I'm often annoyingly look-before-I-leap, but something about being on a quad in uncharted territory turned me into a wild woman!  I was flying over jumps and barrelling full-force thru deep puddles - not something I'd recommend, unless you like being covered head to toe in dirty, smelly, standing water. I had only ever ridden a quad one time before, but I was driving like I thought I was a professional.  And I looked least in my own mind I did... 

Me, thinking I looked like a professional on the ride.

Pretty much the dirtiest I've ever been in my life!

My quad, Flipper, and I became great buddies as I rounded corners too fast and bounced up, over obstacles just a little larger than might have been sane.  At times, I questioned my wild riding.  On more than one occasion, I remember wondering whether my chiropractor, who I apparently consider the voice of reason, would approve of my choices, but in the end, I'm glad I rode with such wild abandon. It was a great adventure and I feel like I really embraced the "old West" spirit of Arizona.  I explored the desert, ate a lot of dust and refused to let clear thinking stand in the way of a good time! I'm so glad my mom married that guy, so that I could spend some quality time with him, riding like a bat outta hell! 

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