His words were long in strange places, like he was trying to sing but his tongue kept tripping over the words. It was the kind of accent that sounded like he would use the word ‘dad-gum’ a lot.
The distances got shorter and everything got smaller the longer I walked. It was like I was on a movie set that only looks real if you stand in the right spot, and when you walk around you discover that everything is a size that doesn't match.
She was hanging with only her toes on the ground and her brand new Ross Dress for Less jacket caught on the fence post. I looked at her dangling feet and her swimming arms. “I’m not with her,” I said.
"This dingleberry is going down!" Mom growled, speeding up like we were racing a light at a crosswalk. Then she veered up the little slope of wild dirt that protected us from the Momposter's boogeybreath. I followed close behind her as we cut onto the trail just a leash-length in front of the Momposter.
I wanted to introduce myself to the horses, but Mom kept her body in the way no matter how fast I ran. I ran faster, and she ran faster, so I ran faster still and she ran faster still.
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 mountains in Washington are steep in a way that I think might be illegal in California, because I’ve never climbed anything in California that’s as steep for as long as everything I’ve climbed in Washington. Our first hike in Washington was supposed to be an easy one. It was less than 10 miles long,... Continue Reading →