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Enjoying a trip to the desert

GAYS MILLS - Recently, an opportunity presented itself for me to go to Arizona–in February! I took advantage of that opportunity and I’m glad I did.

The occasion was seeing our 13-year-old grandson Bodhi compete in a national scooter competition…Riders from 10 states competed in this event which is only the third such national contest in the young sport. Bodhi has been scootering for several years and has gotten quite serious about this very active activity. 

“And quite good,” says a very proud Grandpa.

The tool of the trade, a scooter, is a far cry from the homemade scooters we used to make out of repurposing old clamp-on skates crudely attached to any old board and with a wooden crate/handle combo attached to the front. Tin can ‘headlights’ on the crate were optional. The scooter Bodhi rides is similar in size to a skateboard (18-24 inches long and 4-5 inches wide), has a heavy duty aluminum ‘deck,’ two very small wheels, and a very sturdy aluminum tee handle that steers the front wheel.

It’s amazing what Bodhi and the other contestants can do with this simple device.  They can fly (get air), do flips, spin the deck around mid-air while just holding onto to the handle, and come down in one piece. The contest took place at a skate park in Tucson and there was scarcely a flat spot to be found in the various areas riders used. This indoor park was in an old warehouse and the scootering surfaces were made of wood (masonite over plywood). There was a deep bowl and several steep walls and jumps that were all challenging. Part of the judging was based on how many of the park features were used as the contestants demonstrated their skills during a one-minute routine. 

Bodhi is the youngest member on a team of scooter riders from Oregon, where he lives and several of the team members made their way to the contest. The team represents the Soul Flow Pro Scooters, a shop near Eugene, Oregon. Bodhi’s last name is Sol so his name and his developing skill is a great fit on the Soul Flow Team. Bodhi got a trophy as the Rider of the Year from his team and placed third in his class (and another trophy) at the competition. 

I looked forward to supporting Bodhi and seeing the contest of course, but also had some time to look around Tucson and environs. The weather was obviously quite pleasant that far down on the old globe and every day was sunny. I found two Mexican restaurants that I really liked and patronized them every day. I visited Old Tucson, 10 scenic miles out in the desert and thought it looked familiar. It was: over 400 western movies have been filmed there since it was built as a movie set in 1939, and I’ve seen a lot of them.

Bodhi’s parents, Rachel and Erik, and Erik’s parents who live in Hayward, Wisconsin and I all stayed in a spacious Airbnb while in Tucson. It was a great setup for a mini-reunion in the month of February.