I have been trying to upload pictures, but without luck.
On Tuesday, neighbor Rob from back home took me on a 4-wheeler trek. Two other parties met us at the staging area south of here near Florence, and we took off through the desert towards the mountains.
First surprise: You have to wear a facemask or a bandana to keep from breathing the dust. Why? In the dust is the fungus which causes Valley Fever, a disease you do not want.
Okay, so I wore a bandana!
I also should have worn one on my head as I couldn't wear a cap, due to the speeds, and my balding head got a little burned with the sunshine.
Rob is an expert driver. The Polaris side-by-side 4-wheeler was amazing. Its suspension allowed us to roar over crevices, embedded boulders, bumps, ravines, the works. I had a handle to hang on to, much like I was steering, which gave me the illusion of control.
We put on 60 miles. We climbed right to the top of some small mountains, then dove down to the canyons, and then back up to the top, and so on. Most of the day I was hanging on to the handlebars quite tight.
I didn't say anything, but I got woozy before lunch. Carsick woozy. I knew all I had to do was eat, and when we ate, I felt better and was okay for the rest of the day.
On the very primitive trails were dozens of other 4-wheelers, all manned by snowbirds. Then there were Jeeps bouncing up and town the mountainsides. One caravan had 9 vehicles. Three or four had one driver! I guess the fun is in the driving, not the passengering. But I enjoyed being a passenger.
The network of trails is impossibly complex. Every quarter of a mile, you have to make a choice. Rob, who was in the lead of our caravan of three, has spent the past 11 years learning the trails, so he went forward with confidence and knew just where to turn. Or at least, he never showed doubt!
Now I can say I have gone 4-wheeling in the back country.