There are some places that I can only take Mom on weekends, because if we go during the week we’ll be late to work. It’s not because the trails are really far away or anything. It's because I’m such a handsome dude that Mom just can’t resist taking my picture in the places that look especially good behind me.
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.
Mom and I listened to stories about the real-life bandits and stagecoaches of the Old West. “Mom, we’ve been to a lot of these places!” I said, astonished. “Some of them were so small that their gas stations didn’t even have Perrier or string cheese! How could a place be famous and forgotten?”
It looked like there had been a battle royale of foul weather right before we got there, with the wind and the white dirt fighting for dominance over the mountains. To Mom’s delight, it seemed like the wind had won.
in front of us the mountains were bare and covered in dirt, with a few graveyards of bone-trees sticking out of the hillside like thorns. We walked for miles through the tree graveyard, and it was kind of spooky, but pretty too, like a Tim Burton movie with the lights turned on.
"IF YOU COME NEAR US I'LL BARK AT YOU SO HARD YOU WON'T KNOW WHAT HIT YOU!" I was so scary that all the people on the I'mbarkadero shrunk closer to the buildings to give me enough room to beat the monster up if I needed to.
That's why I was still tied to Mom when we came around Creature Corner, where I have met a lion, a wolf-dog, and too many bunny rabbits to count. This morning there was a new creature flumping across the path. It was a horseshoe-crab-shaped ball of fur that moved like a land sting ray. "STRIPEY STINK-CAT!" I barked.
Today there were runners just like always, but the stray humans were awake, and the workers had been replaced with tourists waiting for the boat to Alcatraz and asking each other if the bridge was being painted. The tourists lined up across the sidewalk like bowling pins for me to run through them and cause selfies they would never forget.