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The Stories Behind the Tan Lines

So a tan is cool. But my personal opinion is that laying outside on a beach towel in my backyard and sweating it out just isn't worth it. I want my tan lines to tell a story of all the awesome things I've done during the summer. And I have a pretty good tan already... It would be darker if I hadn't decided to grow up and take care of my skin this year and wear sunscreen. But I feel like that is a mature life decision even if it comes with a slight sacrifice.

For me the farmer tan is hard to avoid. I got a pretty massive one already at the ranch riding horse and bush hogging. And flip flop lines. Also inevetible. From mowing. And I've kept up the horse riding pretty well. We try to go in the morning before it gets truly hot. Like it's still hot but not hottest if you get that. One day we took a couple friends and went to Kisatchie and rode. There's a little pond thing there and a 7 mile trail thru grass and pines. No picnic spot or bathrooms so we just sat down one the ground and ate chicken wraps with certain insects. More on that later. Anyway I realized I had forgotten my saddle cinch so bareback it was for me. My horse had a sore in the middle of her back so I was sitting basically in her withers and there were creeks to either jump or crash around through the brush beside them about getting my head taken off by brush. Yes Flicka if you haven't noticed I do stick up aways off your back. Then there was trotting. I'll leave out the details of what it feels like to trot on a horse bareback while sitting basically on their neck. But I arrived back at the end of the ride with what felt like massive bruises in certain places. We let the horses cool off in the pond. Fast forward to the next morning, insect bites. Everywhere. Impossible to have enough self control not to scratch... Scabbing... Enduring church... We resorted to benadryl. Three weeks later they have faded to tiny red dots. And yes we still plan on going horse camping at the lake and taking them to the beach for a day.

Then there was one of those wing it deals with my friend from Bradley. We found this river in the Kisatchie on Google maps and went. Here there were picnic tables. And outhouses that we found AFTER we had been there all day. I forgot the firewood for doing pie iron desserts so tried to make a fire using random sticks, pinecones, and starter bricks but never got a fire. Rita did a little better with her part and we had lovely discada meat on her camp stove. The river is really low right now. But it has a rocky bed and bluffs all around but the coolest part is it's out in the sticks. Like if there weren't obvious things like picnic tables you would think you were the first person to find it. We just hung out in the river and talked. About life. And it got really deep and was totally cool. We hope to do it again. And yes I did tan thru my sunscreen.

I almost forgot about when Mom, Adri, and I went canoeing on the Calcasieu. First of all we had to get the canoe which was tipped over buried in 3 ft tall briars at our hay farm pond and we were in flip flops. Thankfully the man who has his trailer house out there saw us and chivalrously came to the rescue with a pair of rubber boots and strong arms. On the river we saw three alligators and a bunch of blue herons. The water is murky and completely still, and there are huge cypress trees with knees poking up out of the water. We decided Louisiana rivers are the closest you will come to seeing the world in prehistoric times. It's an ugly-beautiful and I love it because it's where I grew up. Three people in a canoe is fairly tipsy tho, and my keys and phone were protected by just a ziploc bag and a beach towel. I had many visions of us tipping over, into the water with the alligators, and my phone and keys sinking to the bottom of the river.

And right now, I am on the way home from an amazing trip to the Buffalo River in Arkansas. It probably needs a whole post to itself since this is getting long...

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