Ode to Adventures

Adventures add interest to life. There have been so many times that a trip or experience I was on would have been just ok if an adventure had not occurred.

Adventures are unlooked for and often unwanted in the moment, but invariably, they provide the best stories and some of the happiest memories that one can have. There is a sense of trepidation and even panic as you approach the unknown with adventures lurking. There is a sense of joy, of amusement, of stress, of loss, of discovery, of wonder while they are happening. There is a sense of accomplishment, learning, and victory as you come out, and they enhance your memories to the point that you can still remember minute details of the adventure years or even decades after it occurs. Adventures may be big or small, each having its own profound effect on you. Some of the great adventures I have had include (spoilers for adventures I will post, and no, they are in neither chronological nor posting order):

In which I go four wheeling in a bus

In which life happens and also death

In which I go to the deserted valley

In which I literally throw my keys and identity at a stranger

In which I end up in Bethlehem and Carthage on the wrong continent

In which I run a personal record 13 years after the fact

In which we camp in a lake

In which I turn off my scooter with a Swiss Army knife

In which nothing quite connects in Grand Junction

In which she grabs my ears

In which the dog pulls me up Mt. Wrightson

In which we sneak into the reggae festival

In which everything is a bird

In which the temple is haunted

In which fun facts and sensory overload

In which we didn’t bring our haboob gear and mom must take the path of darkness

In which we follow the landlady on a bike through traffic

In which I dance in a cloak and Russian hat at the Torino Olympics

In which I live 19k from the Promised Land

In which I sing “Past the Point of No Return” at the top of a mountain race

In which I date a felon

In which we scale an ice cascade

In which the raft holds just enough

In which we traverse the knife ridge

In which I have a master’s degree in scooter driving

In which the Love river is full

In which I race a typhoon down the mountain on a scooter

In which I have the least quarantine-y quarantine.

In which they let me on the plane in a pandemic.

In which Tom Cruise becomes Ryan Gosling

In which we chase Kevin the bird around the school

In which we hitch hike

In which there is Japanese medication

In which I end up on the wrong train

In which the next train comes before this train

In which I get caught the one time I really did stamp my ticket

In which they should be passing me about now (night race)

In which we are on the Road to Nowhere, the Road to Many Things

In which Philadelphia is on the fastest route to Tennessee

In which I hide under my bed as a grown up

In which the tourist map leads through a psychological ward

In which I find myself buying 8 pairs of identical running shorts

In which we are not allowed to walk counterclockwise

In which magic becomes the big club

In which I bike to a choir concert in a tux with a 42 inch rapier

In which Italians need to have their intimissi on the way home

In which I accidentally hike 13 miles

In which I almost literally run into lava

In which we’re good at naming things

In which we drink holy water

In which dangerous things are unexpectedly cute

In which the cab driver extorts the person he hit

In which the van door falls off

In which we visit fort hamburger

In which hamburger is not for breakfast

In which we are pushed out of the way by the president’s security

In which I am stuck in the silly outfit

In which we spy on China

In which he walks through the Circus Maximus with a French flag

In which I experience reverse culture shock

In which I navigate by camera display and hiking stick

In which night sledding does not work out

In which forget everything and learn Latin, and you’ll know everything…er, sort of.

In which I geek out at the top of Mona Kea

In which airport security fails big time (secret p)

In which I am searched everywhere

In which we were going to go to Colorado but end up in San Francisco instead

In which poison oak

In which we go “canyoneering” and chasing vortices.

In which we actually manage to beat my brother at wrestling

In which we get stuck in the middle of the great plains and learn the evilest of card games

In which I have a Chandler at the tailor moment

In which I run down a mountain in a typhoon

In which I don’t want to be round (the proper use of shorts’ pockets)

In which children chant my name

In which I am a foreigner all the time

In which Spain feels like Italy

In which I am flash-mobbed

In which I don’t actually know any true names

In which I stumble into the congressional gardens of Italy

In which everyone drools over the bass soloist and the tenors step in

In which I am saved under a bridge

In which we charter a bus

In which Acutane is a “depressant”

In which Eddy Izzard

In which its not a secret I try to hide

In which we cross a river with a hungry crocodile

In which we ski to Swiss Army knives and chocolate

In which I tell the drama club they have to undo whatever I try

In which I am in High School!?

In which I am the freshman

In which these vans flip over, EVERYONE DIES!

In which I actually have a file disappear on a final project

In which a professor wants to clone me

In which initiations never go as planned

In which I visit friends and end up playing host

In which check out this piece of illegal

In which you don’t push me on sexual innuendo

In which I have the once in a lifetime experience eight or nine times

In which we rename our friend

In which I cannot shake and shimmy

In which hearts forge friendships

In which I literally and figuratively go through Hell.

In which the republic of the tree

In which I stay at the home of people whose names I have never heard

In which Fellowship of the Ring is the best sedative

In which I learn the French word for crab

In which I scooter a giant teddy bear halfway across Taiwan

In which I free climb down a cliff with sharp/slippery rocks in the rain

In which I cuss in class

In which I am either 8 or 12

In which Snowmass lives up to its name

In which I help my best friend clean blood off the walls

In which I pet my brother’s face

In which I run to the river

In which the tourist trail leads through an insane asylum

In which I walk around a whole country

In which we find the temple that chained an elder god

In which duct tape holds the chassis of the scooter on

In which I am pick pocketed

In which I give up my identity to a demon disguised as an angel

In which the cab does not lead to a music festival

In which rusty SCUBA skills are observed by everyone

In which they REALLY needed my shoes

In which I perfect the 45-minute tour

In which I shame the bio 181 in Chinese

In which there are god breezes

In which I get a personal escort through the airport of Hong Kong

In which I get a personal escort out of the IFC in Hong Kong

In which I arrive at Heathrow 17 minutes before boarding

In which I actually miss my flight

In which Italian dinner nights

In which I climb a mountain in Romania after reading about meeting a vampire in the mountains of Romania

In which we hide from the Romanian minister of culture

In which the phoenix stares me down

In which I learn to sing tenor loudly

In which I win all the super geek awards

In which cloaks

In which he meets a wizard in the yar

In which I finally get to backpack

In which everyone jumps in the boat at the last moment

In which my adventure buddy is weirdly prophetic

In which the muntjac and I freak each other out

In which I start on black diamonds at Telluride

In which I learn sandpiper-walking

In which my life takes a dramatic turn

In which there is a fateful cup

In which the temple is haunted

In which I sleep in a linen closet

In which I drag myself out of the mountains

In which so many pictures become a video of forming friendship

In which I off-road on a scooter

In which avoidance leads to infinite time loops

In which two people own my heart

In which everything is topsy turvy (Australia)

In which I have award winning speeches and calligraphy

In which I get lost in Rome…again

In which 17 churches

In which my sister and I crack up over prairie dogs

In which I say the same things 32,000 times (and other counting mishaps)

In which the soup has a head (and other travel fails)

In which I change the dissertation requirements

In which 32 Bernini’s

In which it feels so good to visit your heart

In which the nicest person is on the train from Pisa

In which Romania is not far enough from Arizona and Mongolia is so close

In which I ford a river and dash the line

In which I pick a lock in a snowstorm

In which World Cups and Olympics

In which the Republic of the Tree

In which I get in trouble for a friend eating Mexican food

In which fording streams takes FOREVER

In which we end up in a train station overnight

In which I run into lockers on purpose

In which shrooms make friendship

In which I have the best measuring tape

In which you’ll need an H

In which the kender spirit goes perhaps too far

In which she is scum the entire way

In which I get chased out the door by a crush’s father

In which my path is strewn with flowers

In which no one knows who speaks what

In which je me suis perdu

In which I stumble into the red light district

In which we must find THE pair of shoes

In which you want an interview when!?

In which three days of mountain climbing is really a day hike on a nice day

In which rage

In which I am actually, truly freaked out

In which we encounter campfire tea

In which I will eat Umbrian air bread

In which I am ignored

In which I am stuck in the reeds rowing from Dracula’s tomb

In which we have hot dog tea

In which Saw Mountain is aptly named

In which there is little caramel in church tiles

In which I must keep my breath tranquil, and the trails don’t walk well

In which I have a cup of vanilla extract and then drop the glass 7 feet

In which I have to find the hidden police station

In which diving across the room to win nertz is totally normal

In which I play the role of Death at a triathlon

In which I find the best measuring tape ever

In which I cover my birthday dinner

In which duck!

In which I find all the snakes

In which I am apparently famous

In which I accidentally end up on the dreamiest dream vacation

In which I am a Master of Science (come from America)

In which we narrowly escape the flash flood

In which I own a small part of Venice

In which the half-marathon is the “fun run”

In which stalking a monk doesn’t work at all (trips to find Reggie)

In which she literally jumps out of the car to scare a pigeon

In which we dance in a typhoon and the car is dry the next day

In which we ferry a bus

In which Spain has the best public hot springs

In which train politics are complicated

In which the entire city is topsy turvy (La Paz Metro

In which he surprises me with arches

In which I pet my brother

In which the phone either has charge or minutes, not both

In which hamburgers are for breakfast

In which I get a phone call from Chile but no emails arrive

In which the forger has a wolf

In which you can choose two: notes, words, choreography

In which I have to find the hidden police station

In which I can shout down 100 fifth graders

In which people working in information booths don’t seem to know anything

In which I memorize the periodic table of elements

In which we emulate the romans with testing barriers

In which time is relative and there ain’t no rest for the wicked

In which it only takes fifteen minutes for the white-boy Hawaiian tan

In which I stash a stove at the Honolulu International Airport

In which I am the master of over-thinking

In which I drive across the country in a pandemic

In which we go to the biggest ski resort in the world

In which I run up and down the Isla del Sol to find my laptop

In which they, blindfolded, navigate a field of rocks in Latin

In which we camp sitting up

In which the highest is the first

In which we are trapped in the middle of the Atacama Desert

In which I run up a mountain in a new state

In which the cat is out of the bag

In which I say “Andiamo” and walk out on my class

In which fantasy living clashes with those in “the real world”

In which I beat all of the class back to school

In which I give up

In which 31 at 31

In which there are new fixations

In which I intentionally choose hot and sunny trails.

In which my sister and I bask in a cesspool

In which there is spectator jump-starting

In which my kindle may need to go on a field trip

In which they do not get to cut the line

In which my first date is in a Tux

In which I dash to graduate

In which I’ve met not only Apollo, but also Odin, and now Thor

In which I walk in with my face and passport and get a job

In which I am the teacher on the board

In which I teach from shotgun

In which I forget my mom’s retirement party

In which Sun Valley is Snowy and the Rainiest spot is Sunny

In which there is NOT a bomb on the interstate

In Which I Become My Own Barista

In Which Vaccine Flu Turns to Trail Runs

In which we get six bath mats

In which Buc-ee’s

In which my sun charm lets a rocket launch

In which Key West is straight out of a dystopian novel

In which sharks are mesmerizing

In which pride dolphins

In which we do futon Olympic trials

In which the manatees are right there

In which bees store pollen

In which Nederland is different to Netherland because of the spelling

In which I do laundry in a new state

In which we hunt methane

In which Farview

In which I cry for my second haircut

In which I end up at five national parks in a weekend

In which I climb Texas’ tallest in the moonlight

In which north of Pontchartrain knows where it is

In which I circumambulate Pando

In which I’d rather drive than bake

In which I end up driving across the country in a pandemic again

In which I stop chaperoning dances after being covered in and cleaning up student blood repeatedly

In which they actually negotiate

In which Oke means water

In which the distinction between land and sea gets really blurred

In which a kid collapses in front of me

In which I am the Drowner of Hope

In which I undergo apotheosis

In which they get spirit-pop tarts

In which I give kisses for weeks

In which I haggle for all the things I DON’T want

In which I give my parents allowance

In which I bathe in a river

In which I pivot to quarantining in my car