The Great Outdoors, Or Something Like It

2 Jul


Let’s talk for a minute about that time my extended family rode ATVs and side-by-sides through the Heber mountains.

First, I think it’s necessary to point out that while my extended family may often ride motorcycles in the dirt, my immediate family, aka the”J5s,”  is not used to this sort of activity.  The J5s’ idea of a rip-roaring time is a brisk walk or perhaps a tight Wimbledon bracket challenge.  If we’re feeling really rebellious we might try a new word game!  ATV riding, the great outdoors…not so much in our vocabulary.

My mother once famously said that the only reason she would ever camp would be if she no longer owned a car.

It should be noted this is not an attitude problem. My mother enjoys all sorts of activities. For instance, she and I love to engage in heated, all-night discussions on gender roles in Gone With the Wind.

Some people like the outdoors.  Some people like Rhett Butler.

Moving along.

My father was given the (unenviable) task of driving me, Mam, and Jess in this dune buggy thing, straight out of the Indiana Jones Adventure. We were a loud dune buggy. A  screaming dune buggy.  An “I feel like I’m on a Disney ride!” dune buggy.

Bless him.

And now for a few pictures to explain our journey.


My mom, usually the first woman to weasel her way out of a picture with an, “I’ll take this one!” kept saying, “I look so good dirty!” and jumping into random pictures, all smiles and poses.  It’s like I’d never met her.


My Paps was apparently unfamiliar with the faux-candid photo. When told to “pretend you’re driving” he smiled for the camera.   This, the man who claims he cannot smile on cue.  We’ll save the all-night conversation about gender roles and pictures for another time, but know it’s there and it’s real.


Even though I rode with my face covered as shown in this beautiful shot, I still managed to be so dirty at the end of the whole ordeal that people lined up to take pictures with me.  It was like I was a prop, one of the princesses at Disneyland or a dressed-up gladiator outside the Colosseum, making money as the entertainment.

This last shower I finally felt like the dirt was out of my hair.

Until we meet again, Great Outdoors. Until we meet again.

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