The Big Bugs at Big Bug Creek Better Not Touch My Coffee

This is how we cool off in Arizona.

This is how we cool off in Arizona.

I’m looking forward to Wednesday when the temperature plunges to the heavenly temperature of 111-degrees. According to our local news, Sunday’s 118 temperature is the fifth-hottest day recorded in Phoenix since the beginning of time.

With the threat of another scorching hot day predicted, Jerry and I wake as the Arizona sun makes its appearance for the proverbial crack of dawn. We hope to get some shopping done before high noon when the street’s asphalt bubbles and boils. Bubbling asphalt can be hard on the tires.

To make the shopping experience less painful, we stop at a café for breakfast in the early morning hour. “It’s 105,” Jerry says, as we hurry, hurry across the baking parking lot.

Once inside the cafe, the cool air conditioning helps us temporarily forget the flames licking the parked cars. I’m so grateful for air conditioning. I love the wonderful person who invented it, whoever that was.

Jerry orders a Reuben sandwich. “That’s not breakfast,” I say. Jerry replies, “I know. But it’s what I want.” I order the omelet with spinach and Portobello mushrooms, which tastes delicious. I realize, I sometimes like my rut. I don’t want to jump out of my comfort zone and have a Reuben for breakfast. I don’t want pancakes for dinner.


“How’s your sandwich, Jerry?” I ask, noticing the onions oozing from the toasted rye bread.

Jerry answers with a thumbs up as he chews.

Heading back to the car, Jerry says, “The heat is so hot, my eyes burn.” He’s right. The heat singes my eyes. My Maybelline mascara keeps my lashes fireproof.

When we reach the car, we dive in with the hope of the AC rescuing us from burned-eye syndrome.

At Costco, we stock up on all the basic necessities we like to buy in bulk, like 100 razors for Jerry and two-pounds of blueberries for me.

Sometimes Jerry just needs a palm tree.

Jerry just needs a palm tree or two when shopping at Costco (that’s him behind the trees.)

As we drive home, Jerry says, “I just love my hobby of collecting and selling woodworking planes.” He adds, “I say ‘woodworking’ planes because if I say ‘wood planes’ people think I’m talking about wooden airplanes.”

“I’m glad you have something you’re passionate about,” I say. “I don’t have anything I’m passionate about at this time in my life.”

“You have writing,” Jerry says.

“I need writer’s groups, writing clubs, writer’s conferences. I need a supportive group of writers to help fuel the enthusiasm. I don’t have that.


With my passion in limbo and hovering in a hold pattern, I turn my attention to the heat soaring to incinerating levels. I’m glad Jerry and I decided to get out of the Phoenix area in the upcoming week.

I booked a cabin on Big Bug Creek up in the high country of northern Arizona. The main draw was the cabin’s affordability and location in a much cooler area. Plus, Jerry’s motorcycle compatriots stayed there this past spring and had recommended it.

Big Bug Creek in Mayer, Arizona

Big Bug Creek in Mayer, Arizona

I imagine the name “Big Bug Creek” didn’t come out of nowhere. There has to be some very big bugs hanging around for the creek to earn that name.

I say to Jerry, “I wonder if Big Bug Creek has big bugs?”

Jerry says, “One can only hope. Shall I bring a shotgun?”

While on the phone with the proprietor of the cabins, I asked, “Is there a restaurant nearby that we can get breakfast or coffee when we’re up there?”

“Uhhh, well, no. There’s a coffeemaker in your cabin,” he said.

I started thinking, what kind of water would I have in the cabin to make the coffee? Would it be water from Big Bug Creek? Coffee with big bugs splashing in it? Or bigger bugs yet, yanking the cup out of my hand and guzzling it down?

Mmmm, this coffee made with Big Bug Creek water has a tangy flavor.

Mmmm, this coffee made with Big Bug Creek water has a tangy flavor of vermin.

“Could we have a cabin in a quiet spot on the creek?” I asked the proprietor.

“Well,” he said, “I guess I can stick you way down at the end.”

“I would like quiet so my husband and I can sit on our porch by the creek and enjoy nature.”

“I’ll see what we have available when you get here.”

Here's our cabin at the end of the creek! Ha, not really. I'm only dreaming...

Here’s our cabin at the end of the creek! Ha, not really. I’m only dreaming…

As I hung up, I had this feeling I just made a reservation at the Bates Motel, where mammoth bugs with sharp teeth and menacing eyes wait for our arrival by hiding in the cabin’s bathroom.

Eeeeee-eeee-eeee (the screeching music from Psycho.)






fyi–Willis Carrier invented air conditioning.


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