Some ten or more years ago we entered the 4-wheeler world. For the first couple of years we rode someone else’s 4 wheeler. But soon it was clear that even though we were always told we were “free to use them,” it was apparent that to keep friendship and family in tack we needed to acquire our own little two track beasts. So we bought one. It is a big mega 800 something that makes donuts in the yard apparently all by itself since every time it is driven into the yard something magically takes over the handle bars from my husband and makes the dust fly, the gravel fly and produces a smile on his face as wide as the mouth of the Mississippi.

So for a year or so he drove and hauled me on the back of his 4 wheeler. Well now that I think of it I don’t think it was even a year. I do believe that one evening while skimming the internet it was decided, uh-one side decided, that we needed another little beasty. Carrying me and the cooler and all the other junk we seemed to need on an outing looked like fun at first, but then it looked like it would be more fun if we had two machines. So a second one came to live with us. Her name is Blue Bell. Yes, again I have named my vehicle. She is of course blue and has the cutest yellow rubber bulb squeaker of a horn that was designed for a two year old’s trike. It just fits me and Blue Bell. But I have taken us off the two track…

So now we have these two rip roaring fun 4 wheelers. We have not succumb to the side-by-side adventures. And honestly I don’t see us doing that. We have already been through us both being on one machine and that didn’t last very long. So I don’t see where we will be moving on from our dual, separate, be in charge of our own path, can go where we want when we want own machines, to one side by side. Besides there is the fact that his big 800 whatever machine has quit him two times and Blue Bell and I have towed him home. So having two machines has saved us a walk more than once. Way to go Blue Bell!

Now to the heart of the matter. Just because these machines can go 40 mph or more, usually more, why do we have to go 40 mph or more? I like to go fast, don’t get me wrong. I have driven in my share of races and demolition derbies. Believe me when I tell you, that rush is something that never leaves your soul once it gets in. But going out in the mountains, seeing the valleys below, watching the birds soar around and around following an updraft of warm air–that is what I like about 4 wheeling.

But Mr. 800 something likes fast. The faster the better. So I let him go ahead. He, like I assume a lot of fast riders do, like to get there first, see whatever we are going to go to see, first. Be the first to notice the deer, bird, rock, water or whatever there is to see—first. Of course he is “blazing the trail” I have been told! No, I am comfortable falling far enough behind that the dust settles enough so I don’t eat too much but no so much that I can’t see him zooming up the canyons and down the draws. But finally I have had an experience that might, just might slow him down.

On the road zooming up ahead he goes. I trottle along behind when I notice something in the road. Yep a snake. A rattle snake. Buzz, buzz. He is one mad snake Mr. 800 something has caused a rift in his crossing. I of course slow down and check out the snake. I don’t get off but I do honk Blue Bell’s horn to notify him of the snake so he can see it. Ya like he will hear that squeak-ity honk-ity. Nope he just keeps zooming. Now when we get to our destination I mention the snake and all of a sudden it is very important to get back to where the snake is. Well the snake of course is gone and I detect a hint of something—possibly knowledge that if he hadn’t been going 40 mph he might have seen the snake. So the rest of the ride home was slower and calmer. Nice. But as soon as we reached the yard. Donuts and that Mississippi smile!

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at