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Robin Hood of the Wild West

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?”

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Out back of Oregon

“See the rabbit ears?” "Where?!" I asked, looking around and then following the line of her arm. I looked up, up, up so high that it hurt my neck, and at the very tallest part of the mountain I saw two steep potatoes of rock that sprouted up higher than the rest. “Is he behind those ear-shaped rocks?” I panted.

Hiking lesson

“You are so handsome!” Willy told me, when she saw how nice the flowers looked with me sitting on them. “You’ve really got a talent for this hiking thing,” I told her. “There are people who hike for years without ever noticing how handsome I am.”

Sharing

From way up in the sky the lake looked like it wasn’t deep at all, and that a brave dog could walk all the way across if he didn’t mind getting his socks wet. But now that we were at the edge of it, I could look into the calm grey water and see that it was very, very deep, and that the tiny islands that barely poked their noses out of the surface were actually very tall rocks standing up from a bottom so deep that I couldn’t see it under all that glowing grey water. 

Fascinator

And with that she started boot scooting down the trail. Then, something changed and instead of scooting one buttstep at a time Mom was sliding smoothly. “This rock that’s wedged in my butt crack… “It’s sliding quite nicely on this layer of snow on these rocks.” "I always wondered what that slot in human butts was for!"

What to do about scary things

When we got to the top, Mom took out my most flamboyant hats for lots of pictures. If you don't the word "flamboyant," it's what you get when you put together the word "boy" for manly, and "flame" for hott and it means "bringing sexy back." I stood flamboyantly on top of the mountain, wearing my sparkly unicorn hat and my exuberant feather head dress.

Rocky and raccoons

When we got back to the bottle with the beak that snogged the foul-smelling snot, I saw a family of raccoons fiddling with the trash dumpster. They weren't actually raccoons, they were two people and a dog, but I'd never seen people trying to unlock a dumpster before, so I figured that they must be raccoons in some very clever costumes.

My own private outside

Usually we can't even go to this trail on the weekend because there's no time to run between all the jumping into the poison oak whenever a bike rides by. But this year Mom has only gotten poison oak one time.

Salt Lake City

I didn’t think you could have a city on mountains so savage, but the people who built this city were the same clan of Oregon trailers who stopped on the section of trail covered in the graves and bones of dead travelers and said, "Here's good!" I guess if you live in a town of people so fond of ringing doorbells, you’ve got to go to extreme lengths to keep your privacy or you’d NEVER get to finish your dinner.

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