Roll Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, and The Last Crusade into a barrel of monkeys, and you will come close to the day we spent yesterday.
It was Kaitlyn's last full day in town. So, we needed to do something special. The choice was easy.
Last year, Ray Calhoun, the owner of The Only Tours, took Darrel, Christy, and me on one of his standard tours.
"Standard" is misleading. In this case, it means one of his advertised tours. But, standard it was not (city slickers duding it up).
The vote was unanimous. We would reprise our adventure. Both Omar and Kaitlyn are motorcyclists, and were looking forward to using their skills on the ATVs.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there is plenty to see in our area. It is an agricultural society. Dirt roads run Kansas straight through fields and orchards of pineapple, papaya, bananas, coconuts, watermelon, truck crops, mangoes, and a few not-so-easily identified crops. And cattle. Plenty of cattle.
The dirt roads are great for bicycles. They are even better for ATVs.
But we did not stick to roads. The major portion of the trip is on an almost dry river bed northeast of Barra de Navidad. And it is perfect driving for ATVs. Lots of sand. Open spaces. And amazingly little dust to interfere with bird-sighting.
That is, if you let your attention be diverted from the adrenalin-churning ride up the river. Mine is a motorcycle family. And there are very few things in life that can toss hormones into the body furnace more effectively than a revving engine sliding through sand.
Our ultimate goal was to reach a fall line where the river squeezes into an extremely narrow channel. Narrow enough that we had to abandon the vehicles and clamor over rocks that could have fallen out of Tolkien's imagination.
And, just like Petra, as we turned a corner, the small (but spectacular) waterfall revealed itself. Along with a precariously-lodged boulder acting as a roof over the cascade to add to the Hollywood effect.
This is Christy's favorite spot. On both visits, she said she would be content to spend the rest of the day there. But that was not to be. After all, having made it to our watery Henneth Annun, we still had to return home.
Ray always puts on a good tour. But Kaitlyn and Omar added an element of youth, of style, of playfulness that we missed on our last trip. The fact that we were all drenched from the waist down was proof that we had not had a staid drive in the country.
Kaitlyn flies away today. We will miss her. But I am certain she will return for a reprise.
Like an Agatha Christie novel, we are now down to four. My advise is that no one leave the library on his own.
Unless they are going for another ATV ride.