Sunday, May 3, 2009

Off Roadin'

Time has a way of stripping away our self imposed protective veneer to reveal who we really are. Being sixtysomething, I have had occasion to become fully acquainted with this process. I stand, er, sit before you today a different woman than I was in my twenties.

My mother tried desperately to raise two daughters conversant with culture and social graces. I even remember being trained to walk while balancing a book on my head. Oh, if Mother could see me now.

I don't know if I have "let myself go", or if I have just been worn down by the process of living in a place that has two modes of dress--dress casual (blue jeans) and casual (sweatpants). But I feel myself morphing into something . . something strange. Something involving country music, deer spotting, chewing tobacco (in our case it was gummy bears), and mud.

Ladies and gentleman, I've become a redneck. And this is how I know this to be true. Today I went off roading.

There are several requirements for off roading. The first is a four wheel drive vehicle, like a Jeep Wrangler.


My RFF(Really Fun Friend) provided this one. Note the optional equipment, a black lab pup named Kolby. Note also that the "optional equipment" is color coordinated with the Wrangler. My RFF rolls in style!


It was a beautiful pre-summer day in the Frozen North, so beautiful that we were not alone in the search for a challenging off road experience.

Breaker, Breaker, we had ourselves a convoy!


We were picking bugs out of our teeth with the big boys. *Cough*


The second important requirement for off roading is a trail of some sort wide enough for the vehicle. The trail must have "natural beauty", like ruts, puddles, and dirt. A Trifecta trail would have all three. This is the trail we chose.


The day came equipped with deep blue sky and fluffy white clouds, and the Jeep came equipped with a warning . .


. . . but the faithful optional equipment, Kolby, being both a therapy dog in training and a seasoned off roader, was not concerned.


Kolby's calm demeanor put my mind at ease. And so did his offer of a free 30 minute cuddle therapy session. Is it appropriate to call your therapist a cutie?

Driving up and down the hills was fun, but we were looking for something a little more . . . challenging. And then we saw it--the holy grail of off roading--a PUDDLE!! Woo--hoo!!


Remember how beautiful and shiny the jeep looked before we started? Well, this is how the passenger side running board looked after the puddle. That blur is the ground passing by.


We had a LOT of fun. At the end of the ride, , my RFF tucked her dependable four wheel drive friend (the Jeep Wrangler)in its comfy garage bay. This is what it looked like.

muddy jeep

RFF and I thought there was an understated, almost Japanese quality to the mud spatters. What do you think?

Yesiree bobtail. I do believe I have been outed as a redneck.

redneck, self portrait

Sorry, Mom.