A photo from the adventure archive

This is one of my many pathetic attempts at looking “tough” for the camera. As you can see, failure abounds.

To achieve a “tough” look in a photo, the subject must:

1. Be “tough” (Fail)

2. Be surrounded by “tough” scenery (Lush tropical plants, Fail)

3. Pose by a “tough” vehicle, such as a tank (Small SUV, Fail)

I’ll get ’em next time.

About the photo:

This lil’ beast in the photo handled remarkably well over a few of Costa Rica’s “roughest roads” (a debatable observation, Lonely Planet). She might be small. She might be a manual, bare bones piece of machinery. But she packed a punch around muddy corners and up slippery inclines.

Kids like me from the country have a significant advantage when it comes to driving treacherous backcountry routes. You city slickers pay way too much attention to the threat of oncoming traffic, clinging to your side when you should utilize the entire playing field. You forget that there are no rules of the backcountry road, besides the obvious “don’t hit the other guy.”

Me? Well, I felt like I was back home driving Dukes of Hazzard style. If I had a dime for every eye roll my wife produce while I was driving this thing, I would be a very rich man.

Anybody else love driving in the country, especially in foreign lands?



  1. Wait – have we gone from badass to tough now?
    I haven’t driven the backroads so much in other countries, but I do like the two lane blacktops in Vermont and New Hampshire.

    1. No, I fail miserably at tough. And I only know how to frame a badass photo of myself. I’ll take a backroad over main roads any day, be it in Vermont, New Hampshire, Costa Rica—you name it.

  2. When I was a little girl my Dad let me take the wheel while we were driving down a dirt road between fields of corn behind our house… and I steered us right into the corn. But, uh… I don’t think that’s what you are talking about here, is it. 🙂 Then I grew up and yes, driving in the country is great! When and if I do drive in a foreign country, I’ll avoid the cornfields at first if I can.

    1. Not bad for your first time driving! I learned to drive on country roads when I was 13. In a manual, no less! I probably came close to swerving into the cornfields.

  3. LOL!! Love the pic! And I can tell by the mud splattered on the ‘small SUV’ that good times were had! I love driving in foreign places…though I did get ‘pulled over’ for driving in a cow pasture once. Strange thing was…I actually thought I was on the road. Country roads anywhere are fun….what I’ll never get use to though are freaking roundabouts. They make great sense, but I can’t figure out how to enter them….and I always imagine the guy behind me thinking as he has to slam on his breaks to keep from rear-ending me……’oh great, it’s a woman AND I bet she’s an American!’

  4. Haha! So funny =P
    You gotta get a pic of you with a shotgun, wearing that crazy furry thing you have on your blog header and the huge glasses in your gravatar pic. Nobody will mess with you then haha.

      1. Because of the huge glasses or the gnarly buffalo skin jacket? You like guns, so clearly it isn’t the shotgun.

  5. Great picture! Eric Murtaugh, man of many moods. : )
    I drove a rental suv in Cancun, once. It was amazing how my high school Spanish came back to me so that I could read the signs! Haha!

    1. Yeah, I just figured the red things meant stop, the yellow things meant slow down or be careful or watch out for deaf kids, and the signs with debris falling off a cliff onto a car had something to do with rock slides. Not bad, eh?

      1. Lol well, all your pictures are covering your awesome hair so how awesome is it really that you want to hide it away in shame? hehe =P

  6. Lol aww I’m sorry. Okay, I’ll stop teasing you. I thought you would come back at me with one of your smart remarks, but I guess it was time to lay down the defense =P

  7. Wow! Driving around in Costa Rica! That must have been quite an adventure. The most adventurous drives that we have had were in Ukraine: a million bumps and holes per square meter, almost no road signs, … We almost lost one of our number plates there.

  8. Hauling ass through miles of muddy rutted logging roads in the Sierras and the coastal range of Mendocino county in my 4X4 Ford truck will always be a fond memory of my years in Cali. My Oldsmobile Alero did surprisingly well on the logging roads of Oregon and even up over the Cascades in winter up into the high desert. I actually think it handled better without the chains. I lived in the hill country of the Pacific NW for almost ten years and only got stuck twice. Those were some good times.

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