What my barks had pinned to the spot, and now Mom’s eyes were stuck to, were a trio of creatures that weren’t quite horses, and weren’t quite cows, and weren’t quite bunnies. “What are they?!?!?!” I whined. “And can I please scatter them like bowling pins?”
Now here we were again, and a truck so fat that we had to step off the trail to keep from getting squashed was stealing our peace and darkness. When the truck’s cockpit passed through my spotlight, I saw a lady inside waving. If Mom’s face hadn’t been hidden behind the light, the lady probably would have been ducking for cover rather than waving.
"Do you know what they use buoys for?" "They're like road signs but on water, right?" "That's what they want you to think," she said, her voice turning hollow and haunted. "Buoys are like gravestones, they mark where there's a dead body underneath."
“I’m not brave enough to be out in the wilderness without coffee. Wal*Mart is closed because of the holiday, so I’ll have to drink gas station coffee tomorrow morning until we can buy a new stove.” I felt a little better. Mom hates it when things break, but it always makes her happy to go to Wal*Mart. Maybe a trip to Wal*Mart was just what she needed to heal the stove and her knee.
I wanted to ask Mom more about pants that could turn people into muffins, but then I saw a group of ladies sitting in a spot where Mom would have made me pose for a picture if they had been home cooking turkey.
As we started hiking, a group of giggling and clucking flags flapped across the trail ahead of us. “They’re not flags! They’re ladies!” I squealed, running ahead to introduce myself.
"You see that scree?" Mom said, pointing her chin at the pile of rocks that definitely did not look like a trail now that I was looking at it from a distance. "I clung onto those rocks and climbed all the way to the top of that moraine before I finally spotted the trail!"
For the next mile I lead my expedition party through the canyons, showing them how my big voice got even bigger as it bow-wow-awooo-ed down the canyon walls. When I wasn't giving speeches, I impressed them with my most gymnastic rolling.
Some races you can’t wait to finish because of the relief when it’s all over. But sometimes it’s better to keep the mom-entum because if you stop you might never get started again.
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.