Just to set the scene, I’m writing this blog entry on a flattened empty Burger King bag using a Wheat Thins box as my desk. I’m crammed in the back of a Chevy dually between two car seats occupied by my two grandchildren. My purse and the Wheat Thins box are on my lap because there’s no room to put them at my feet. My husband, Bob, and son, Travis, and my two grandchildren have just carbed up at BK and Subway bringing all their food back to the truck to eat. We left our Arizona Casita this morning at 10am for a day long hike and swim at Fossil Creek outside of Camp Verde and Strawberry, Arizona. On our way out of town we hit one grocery store, two garage sales, a gas station, and now fast food. The Chevy console clock reads 11am. The GPS map reads one and a half hours to go on our two hour trip. My cranky button starts itching, but I remind myself of who I’m traveling with. My husband and son are never in a hurry, never early, and always happy to be there. Through almost forty years of marriage, I have developed personal flexibility. Not to be confused with bedroom flexibility, this is personal agenda flexibility. I have learned through rugged trial and error that what you plan to do, what you set out to do, and what you end up doing may not be all the same thing. But the key to tranquility is to recognize it all as the adventure along the way. SO, back to that afore mentioned adventure to be. We turn off Interstate 17 onto a Primitive Road outside of Camp Verde. Operative word here: Primitive. As in “No AAA out here”. One mile into the Coconino National Forest, we come alongside an old beat up red Subaru on it’s way out. Guy is stopped, waving his cigarette clutched hand out his driver window. As we slow down alongside, he blurts out “Wanna’ see the biggest snake ever? I just ran over the biggest damn snake ever about a quarter mile back! Go see it! I threw it off the road by three mesquite trees and a white rock!”. His hands shook as he put his cigarette in his mouth, grabbed his steering wheel, and bolted forward. Curious for sure, all five of us surveyed the hillsides on either side of us as we drove further into the National Forest. My first impression was that ALL the trees were mesquite and ALL the rocks were white, but I kept that to myself so as to not dampen the enthusiasm that had gripped everyone else. Creeping along, five sets of eyes on every mesquite tree by a white rock, we drove up alongside another pickup parked and loading something in the back cab. They had found the snake, and yes, he was a monster. The snake still twitching but very much dead, we all posed for cellphone shots. As we all loaded back into our truck, our new snake friends assured us we were headed in the right direction to Fossil Creek. We wouldn’t be able to miss the parking lot or trailhead markers to the upper Falls. …..The road was rough. The parking lot was crowded. The one mile hike into the Falls was too long for our six year old, but the swimming at the end of the trail under the waterfall was amazing. Driving home in the dark, all of us tired from so much wholesome fresh air, I thought about all the extra side adventures we had once we let ourselves slow down and see the sites along the way.