Back when there were people here, runners used to come from all over The City every morning to the I'mbarkadero to run an adventure race that had no official starting line and no official finish.
"Hey, Mom! Guess what. This weekend is that holiday when we celebrate the first cruise ships that bought a boogeyvirus to America!"
The sun burned like a grapefruit over the mountain, and as it rose higher it lit the trees and rocks in the same color as the Wagon's tail lights had lit the trees and rocks the night before when Mom had almost backed into them.
Normally Mom makes me step off the trail and up-up onto a rock when we see someone coming, and then she turns her back to the trail and stuffs me full of kibbles until the people pass. But now, Mom pulled on the mask and the other people did the up-uping, as if by magic.
“At this rate I bet we’ll pass close to 2000 people before we get back to the car.” I didn’t know how big two thousands were, but now I know 2000 is how many people fit into 5 and a half miles if you line them all up one behind the other.
Before long we left the river and started climbing the day’s mountain, and the blades of jagged, waxy rocks pushed the trees even further apart. There was a rumbling up ahead that sounded like a motorboat. “Do you hear something?” Mom asked. “I think someone’s mowing the lawn,” I explained, not because it was true but because it’s rude to not know the answer to a question.
Mom plans for everything that won't go wrong and when everything goes right, she and Oscar decide to turn around anyway.
The trail's steepness had been shallow, but right below our toes the other side of the mountain disappeared into thin air. Other cracked half-peaks lined up in the near distance, and behind them the full variety pack of mountains drew a spikey line like the stock market against the sky.
I felt sorry for Mom and her addiction to measuring things. All it does is make her wish that her adventure was over so that she misses the whole thing... I hoped that Mom would finally figure out what I'd been telling her all along, and things like time and distance are something that she made up to torture herself, but she was done talking.