The concrete jungle of Phoenix sometimes gets to me.
Yes, I use a traffic jam to jam to my favorite tune.
Yes, I meditate some more at another traffic light.
Yes, I smile and chit chat with the person next to me in line.
Yes, I hike the big brown hills almost everyday to get my dose of nature.
Yes, I do think a Saguaro cactus is one of the most beautiful unique trees on earth.
I have created a life that I enjoy even though I am ensconced in a stone metropolis.
I still long to drive without stopping.
I long to drive more than 100 feet without a traffic light.
I long to run in and out of a store.
I long to jump on rocks along a creek.
I long to read under a sprawling oak tree.
That being said, I make it a priority to get out of town.
Sure I have chosen to build a business in a Valley with roughly 6 million other inhabitants, but to take a break from it all is literally a short drive away. I think AZ has the most diverse beauty on earth.
We are known the world over for the Grand Canyon, who can compete with that majesty? I will tell you who can, Sedona, an hour and a half north of Phoenix. Everyone must visit the Grand Canyon at least once in their life, but Sedona is my constant refuge. My client allows me to stay in her Hobbit House, a quaint cottage beside Oak Creek. There is nothing like her diverse cliffs and great red rock monoliths, every view is breathtaking! It is here where I take time to reflect, hike, and write. It refreshes, renews, and invigorates. I return to the Valley a little more enlightened.
Then there is Prescott. Prescott, only an hour and a half northwest of the valley, is a true small town. It is a community, with old architecture, cowboy bars, and a street called Whiskey Row. It hosts the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world. On weekends, people gather from all over to the town square, a sort of unique fleet market type buying and selling experience. Shopping is not why I love this place though. I love driving on hwy 69, watching the landscape transform from valley desert to tree scattered mountainous vistas. I have a favorite stoplight there, because its view symbolizes my joy of Prescott. The road becomes thicker and thicker with trees, curvy from the hills and mountains, and just when I least expect it, I round the corner to an elevated wide open view of the town. The simple grandeur of thumb butte appears, welcoming me. I smile with delight every time. This place could be a cyclists nightmare or treasured challenge, with all of its hills. The ever changing elevation gives me a smaller yet significant feeling, bringing the clouds oh so close to me, and the trees seem to wrap me tightly in their care.
Flagstaff, less than 3 hours north, can be as cold as my home state of MN. Unlike my childhood roots, Flagstaff has a mountain for skiing, sledding, snowboarding, or whatever snowy adventure you partake of. In the summer, it is a much needed oasis from the 110 degrees of the valley.
It is here that my roommate, her family and I, recently took a much needed camping trip. My roommate and I could not be more diametrically opposed, but we love each other so. I tease her because her Homecoming Queen history follows her everywhere. She practically invited the entire city of Phoenix on our trip. She packs an entire grocery store as well. Her kids and I have a blast being silly, but I warn them of how lucky they are. A trip with me would be fun, but they would be cold and starve, out foraging for nuts and berries.
Sometimes I just need to NOT be an adult. Sometimes I need to be completely free of responsibility to fully bring out the kid inside. Typically, I will not be found sitting around drinking with the adults for long. Kids fascinate me. I relate to their carefree active attitude. I have a knack for bringing out their fun pleasant side, a side their parents often forget they have.
Me and 3 teens went for a ride in my Audi convertible. Once we hit the quiet dirt roads surrounding the lake, I handed the wheel over to the 15 year old, with instructions to not surpass 40 miles an hour. “I like to have fun, but we can be safe about it,” I instructed. It was freaking AWESOME! Blaring Carly Rae Jepson, we sat up high on the back, arms flailing, dancing and singing at the top of our lungs. We made the typical country store stop for ice cream bars and lollipops, parked in the wrong spot at the lake to go for a quick dip, and of course 30 minutes after carousing on the deck, we were reprimanded of its use for incoming and outgoing boats only.
We finished our day in the dimly lit tent, laughing so hard it hurt, to the silly inappropriate body part / bodily fluids infused definitions created by my adolescent three some for obscure words from the game Balderdash. They teased me voraciously for my attempt to step out of my sensical lexicon and enter their crude utterly stupid vocabulary. Yes, it was blissfully ridiculous.
I had soooooooo much stinkin fun!!!
Now, I can return to stoplights and traffic jams with reflective giggly moments to accompany me.
Bold Truth & Bold Effort
1.Go find fun!
2.Act like a kid! Or hang out with one to learn how!
3.Laugh until it hurts!
Release to Unleash!
How do you get out of town?
Do you ever tap into the kid inside?