You’d think, after a month on the road, that we’d be heading straight home now–next stop, our dear evergreen Washington State.
Instead, we’ve diverged to Colorado. We have an adventure-buddy date.
Seven years ago, when our retirement from our primary careers turned us into annual road-trippers, we found kindred spirits in a pair of friends from North Carolina. On every trip since 2012, we have met our Adventure Buddies somewhere along the way. We rent a house for three days, take turns cooking, and go for lots of hikes.
2012, Moab, Utah:
2013, Sedona, Utah:
2015, Yucca Valley, CA (near Joshua Tree):
2016, Anza-Borrego State Park, CA:
At the end of each day, we watch college basketball together, men’s and women’s. See, our buddies are Tarheel fans like us. North Carolina, remember? If we meet during the eastern portion of our trip, there are regular season games to watch. And if, as now, we meet in late March, there’s the NCAA championship. In the rare years that Carolina’s not in the Sweet 16–yes, we Tarheel fans are that spoiled–we can always root against Duke together.
This year we’re meeting in Estes Park, Colorado, right next to Rocky Mountain National Park.
So, this should be a perfect weekend, right? #1 seed Carolina’s in, playing this Friday. And Duke? They’ve already
choked lost to a lowly 15-seed.
Something I forgot to mention: these NC friends of ours moved to LA. As in UCLA. Whose team is also in the Sweet 16. Playing Friday.
Luckily for our mutual friendship, UNC and UCLA aren’t playing each other Friday. So we’re free to cheer for both.
If both couples’ sports-gods prayers are answered, both our teams will win. Then they have to face each other.
How ’bout that for a test of friendship?
I’d like to think that, on Friday, I’ll be wholeheartedly cheering for the UCLA Bruins to beat Kentucky. And I will be. Mostly.
But I gotta admit, more than a teensy part of me will be secretly hoping they lose. Just so we can all cheer on the Tarheels, together, on Sunday. If Carolina loses and UCLA wins, I’ll be a huge Bruins fan.
And if it comes to UNC-UCLA? I’ll be cheering first and foremost for our friendship. Of COURSE. What kind of person do you think I am? 🙂