by Melinda Gallo

Racing to see the sunset

We rented ATVs (quads in French) in Macinaggio with Todd, Marie, and her family friends tonight. I didn't know what they were called in English or French, but they're like dirt bikes with four wheels. When the others arrived at 7:30PM, we got fitted for helmets, received instructions on the rules, and got to test drive the ATVs.

There were 10 of us and a 12-year old who went with our tour guide. I didn't get a picture because I was worried I'd have to hold on to my camera. When we got to the rental office, I found out that our guide had a small trunk to put a few things in.

We went on 5 different ATVs with two people on each. Before we left on our trip, our plan was that Dave would drive ours up and I would drive back. So, I sat comfortably on the back and holding on to the rack behind me. We all had helmets on, but no seat belts.

We took off from the parking lot and we were assigned to be right behind our tour guide. We first drove down the street and then turned off onto a less main street. We drove past Marie's cousin's house where we had and apéritif last week.

We went up a dirt trail, then onto a winding road, and curved around a rocky, sandy road. We stopped at one point and the guide asked us if we wanted to go see the sunset or some other town. We all wanted to see the sunset.

As we got onto rocky and dirty trail, he began to go faster. Dave felt pressured to keep up especially with four other ATVs trailing behind. I quickly let go of the rack behind me and held on to Dave. I couldn't hold on to him too tightly because I could feel his heart pounding so loudly. I got nervous too!

We went around winding roads with steep ravines below. The trail was getting harder and harder to see until finally the guide went on a less rocky trail with so much dust that we couldn't even see his backlights. Dave did a great job trying to keep up.

The guide snaked through the trails for what seemed like forever. We were chasing the sun to arrive there before it set. Up and up we kept going. I kept thinking we're never going to make it. It got so dark and we couldn't see the road that well, so I was thinking that maybe we'll just fly off and no one will even notice.

We finally made it to the top. We could see the beautiful red and orange sky with no sun in sight. It was beautiful and so rewarding to arrive to see such a beautiful sunset. The colors and the view from where we were standing were absolutely stunning.

We stood under a bunch of mills (the ones used to generate electricity) and were so happy and excited to have made it. Even the guide told us that he normally doesn't take people up because our ride back will be done in the dark and we'll have to have our high beams on.

Upon hearing that, I decided not to drive back down. And I'm glad I didn't. Many times we could barely see the road, which twisted and turned a lot. But also much of it was down hill with the same steep ravines on the side. I held on to Dave with one arm and held onto the back rack as well. Afterward my hand was sore for hours.

Next time, I'd like to go during the day and be able to drive my own.

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