Adventures in the Wild West

Today has been a fairly typical March day in Vancouver. Rainy, cold, and dark, with a low-hainging grey sky that never seemed to lift above the horizon. The type of day that made me wonder why I left Australia (except for the fact that it’s been raining and flooding these past few months back home anyway).

It’s hard to believe that only a month ago, I was in the middle of the desert, where the endless blue sky provided a spectacular backdrop for my first visit to the valley of the sun. Mr Midday Musings and I were in Arizona for a long weekend (and winter reprieve) and were lucky enough to be able to stay with a friend who lives in the artsy, surprisingly upmarket area of Scottsdale, just outside Phoenix.

Some interesting facts about Scottsdale and Phoenix:

1. It’s literally in the middle of the desert, yet my friend Wikipedia tells me that it’s the sixth most populous city in the United States.
2. They have In-N-Out Burger
3. Trapeze is a legitimate way to spend your Sunday afternoon

We managed to time our stay with the “World’s Largest Horse Drawn Parade,” Parada del Sol, (although we actually missed the parade) and this may have influenced my perception, but as far as I’m concerned, people in Scottsdale legitimately dance scantily clad on bars Coyote Ugly style, line dance to country music, wear cowboy hats, and own these amazing boots:

Amazing cowboy boots in Scottsdale, AZ
Amazing cowboy boots in Scottsdale, AZ

Anyway, Scottsdale is also a bit of a party town, so Sunday was definitely a slow day. Despite this, our friend and guide Loreto decided that the afternoon would be a good time for us to try out her new favourite hobby, trapeze. Another friend, Brandey, and I were the only takers, since Mr Midday Musings has a separated shoulder after an unfortunate (and sadly not very impressive) snowboarding injury.

Here’s the thing. I never realised that I was afraid of heights. Loreto does this every weekend and she has always seemed like a reasonably sane person. Yet once I was halfway up the ladder, I realised that I was only going up to jump off. In front of people. And I was being filmed.

I could tell you how I had to be coaxed off the ladder onto platform in a way that is not dissimilar to how I imagine firefighters get cats out of trees. I could tell you that holding onto the bar actually really hurts unless you have calloused hands. And I could go into detail about how I was so scared the first time that I literally couldn’t jump, and when I did, the instructor’s words didn’t register in my panicked brain which was still focusing on survival, and this meant I stuffed up the first manoeuvre.

But who cares? Once I got over all that, I was literally flying through the sky, in the desert, and as cheesy as it sounds, feeling completely exhilarated:

Ok, I’m not going to run off and join the circus any time soon, but it was one the best experiences that I’ll take away from our adventure in the Wild West – a big call given that we also ended up driving out to the spectacular Grand Canyon and Sedona desert. Who knows, maybe Vancouver has an (indoor) trapeze centre too…

Arizona, I’ll miss you. Please send the sun my way.


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