The walls swooped and lunged at us like ghosts as we wound through for almost half a mile. Then we turned a corner and found ourselves looking up at a rock taller than Mom’s head. “I’ve got just the thing,” Mom said, pulling off her packpack. Then she looked at it like someone had pulled a dirty trick on her. “Oh crap, the emergency sling is in the other pack.”
We ran 5 miles up and down the dooms. Then we ran through trees that grew right out of deep sand. Then we ran on the beach. And when we left the beach we ran through the grass, which only lives in deep, deep sand. Everywhere we ran it was sand, sand, sand! Have you ever run in sand before?
“How do I be encouraging without pressuring her... just in case she’s the kind of person who barfs?” I asked. I know all about barfing before the finish line because that's what Mom used to do when she was excited and messed up her pacing. “How about just 'Go'?” Mom said. “Yeah! That’s good! Use two of them!"
"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.
It must be tough running with the weight of hundreds of miles on their backs when they didn't even know what the next mile held yet. But then I remembered how Mom finds her way around places we'd never been before. Maybe humans can see the future better than dogs can, and that's why they like planning so much.
She was running faster that I knew she would normally, but if she slowed down then we would be overrun by people puppies making observations about how fat Mom’s thighs were, or asking her why she didn’t have a husband. Then we reached a steep slope and sped up it as fast as we could.
Concentrating is like an adventure where nothing happens, and the more you do of it the more you want to tell someone about it and the less there is to tell. I guess that’s the difference between an adventure and what Mom calls a "pain in the ass.”