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Gallery: What A Desert Road Trip Looks Like in Spring

Every once in a while, I have to usurp your screen for a moment with a run down of the antics of a short but exceptionally fun adventure trip I take, sadly, without my family. Complex schedules affect all families, so sometimes I "get" to take a weekender without my wife and daughter. It's both a blessing and a curse.

Photo of The Day: Holding on Tight in Moab

Camera: Canon 5D | Lens: EF24-105mm | Setting: f/4, 1/800 sec, ISO 100

Chicken Corners Trail — "The best way to ruin your upholstery in Moab, Utah"

You'll lean like a green bowler trying to force his ball away from the gutter with the pathetic and futile bend of his torso long after that ball left his hands. It's a long, long fall right here, so that reaction is forgivable if not mockable. You get 400 feet to the bottom here, and it ends at the red clay flow of the Colorado River below. So at least you'll go down with a good view as your last sight before you see the angelic welcome party at the Other Side . . .

Photo of The Day: I Can't Believe My Hiking Partner Said This

Camera: Canon 5D | Lens: EF24-105mm | Setting: f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

I tried to strike up the wrong conversation with this girl. She picked out a square table while we waited for our burritos. She asked me to sit right next to her, and there was no way I could turn her down because she makes me ache with joy and peace and happiness with the way she asks these things. Brooke, my wife, went to the bathroom. I was already feeling the stiffness of struggled muscles after our hike, and, according to my scale, it felt good. We'd just come off the trail, a mild but twisty path through the desert with just a few hill climbs and the scents and blooms of spring still going strong. Ocotillo arms were wrapped with vivid green leaves and tipped with their fiery coral-colored flowers.

I miss that feeling in my legs and back and arms and feet. Because I don't get out as much as I once did. So I wanted to talk about it . . .

Gallery: The Adventure of A Parents-Only Weekend Getaway Wine Tasting Camping Road Trip

Sonoita Vinyards wine tasting with hibiscus flower in the wine

The other night we ate dinner across from a theater and saw an ad for the movie Madagascar 3, and for a strange singular moment I was thrilled. And then I couldn't believe it, couldn't believe how I'm changing. That's why, among dozens of other reasons, a parents' weekend away is such a good thing.

So, for three nearly full days, we road tripped around southern Arizona, camped in an enchanting mesquite grove in the Santa Rita Mountains, and then toured a half-dozen wineries of Sonoita Valley. By the second winery we visited, Sonoita Vineyards, I was getting warmed up to things . . .

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