Zzzzzzzz….: #atozchallenge, Day 30

So, can you believe that this is it?!

We’ve traveled our way through the alphabet, on a grand loop of adventure – I’ll admit that I’m more than a little surprised at some of the places this trip has taken me – into my memories, into new ideas and connections, into new stories and goals…

This foray into a time that so easily gets swept away in a fog of the everyday life I live today – a life filled with home and husband and children and pets and and and – has been a time of renewal and re-energizing for me…

At the same time, as I write this last post from the guest bedroom of my dear friend who lives only one state and a 5 hour drive away, I’m tired. Ready to pause in pulling forth the pearls from our traveling years and examining them…ready to move on to other projects, and absorb what this month and this project has brought me.

But before I do that – one more time, for an even 26.

I mentioned way back during S that I had a couple of funny stories about sleeping under the stars. I promised I’d get back to these for my Z post – and now it’s time to deliver on that promise.

I enjoy an Arizonan desert campfire with Gus the Wonder-Truck, fall 2000. Photo by James B. Burton.

Both of these stories happened in Arizona, or maybe the far southern edge of the Utah desert, and both happened at night.

We traveled one weekend to the town of Wickenburg, and then, on the way home, stopped in the former mining boom town of Crown King, which is isolated on the top of a mountain. When night approached, we found one of those many fire rings scattered throughout the west, and made camp there.

We were bedded down and asleep when we were awakened by a sudden noise that didn’t fit. In wild places, people tend to react more instinctively, and we were sitting up with flashlights aimed into the scrub brush around us in a matter of seconds, preparing to defend ourselves against whatever threat presented itself.

The threat turned out to be real – a javelina  – a small but potentially aggressive little tusked beast. This one was alone, and staring right at us!

We shone lights in its eyes, and made “Move along; nothing to see here” noises. Thankfully, the nocturnal visitor left without any altercation (of course, from the javelina’s point of view, we were likely the unwanted guests!).

Crown King General Store, Crown King, Arizona…1997. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

But the funniest sleeping under the stars story – the one I still giggle about nearly 18 years later – happened before we were even married, on the night before our visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We’d ridden the motorcycle a good part of the day, and found a place in the nearby desert to sleep for a few hours, until it was light enough to explore.

We were laying there, side by side, when all of a sudden, my Accomplice (who, by the way, looks more than a little like Henry VIII, and is built like a linebacker) jerked away from me and made a sound that can only be described as girlish.

“There’s a tarantula on me! There’s a tarantula on me!”

This is a Texan tarantula, not an Arizona one – but still…you get the idea, right? Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

My response? Laughter!

He subsided, and stared at me angrily. “Why would you laugh when I said there was a tarantula?”

I was laughing so hard at this point that I couldn’t explain in words. I tried another tactic –

There really is a tarantula on me!”

Finally, I was able to explain – no tarantula, just a feisty fiancee who thought a flirty tickle in the ribs might lead in other directions than arachnophobic ones (especially since it was rather cold and dark for tarantulas to be out and about). I don’t think I truly understood how much my Accomplice dislikes spiders, or how differently our minds work, until then…but I still laugh at how that innocent little tickle became a dangerous threat, and how he must have felt when I laughed at his terrifying predicament!

This post is part of the #atozchallenge. For more zany or not-so-zany “Z” posts, click the banner.

And there we have it…an entire journey through scattered, geographically far flung bits and pieces of my wandering life…yes, we’ve slept outside in many places, including beside lava tubes, amongst Joshua trees, on mountains…in tents, and under the stars, in a bed my Accomplice made for us, and at friends’ and families’ homes, in hotels and motels, and in the bed of old Gus…and now, from a bed 230 miles from the one my Accomplice is in, I bid you all good night, to the tune of one of my all time favorite lullabies!

5 comments

    • Well, I could…but there’s this Vulcan woman in my head, and she has stories to tell, too. I managed to more or less hold her at bay for April, because I promised her May. She’s not inclined to be put off further than that, so…

      But I do have more stories, and a lot of unused pictures. I’ve been considering ways to share more of them, so stay tuned! =D

      And I really kinda like the idea of tapping other alphabets…

Leave a Reply to gretchenwing Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.