Where there’s smoke…

The sun burned like a grapefruit over the mountain, and as it rose higher it lit the trees and rocks in the same color as the Wagon's tail lights had lit the trees and rocks the night before when Mom had almost backed into them.

A pair of ducks

The trail's steepness had been shallow, but right below our toes the other side of the mountain disappeared into thin air. Other cracked half-peaks lined up in the near distance, and behind them the full variety pack of mountains drew a spikey line like the stock market against the sky.

A day without Witchcraft

I felt sorry for Mom and her addiction to measuring things. All it does is make her wish that her adventure was over so that she misses the whole thing... I hoped that Mom would finally figure out what I'd been telling her all along, and things like time and distance are something that she made up to torture herself, but she was done talking.

Oscar the Inspiration

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 →

Breaking my promise to ol’ Smokey

Mom says that she lived in California for many years without ever smelling smoke in the Stuck House places. But for as long as I've been a man-dog there have been a few days or weeks every summer when the world disappears and everything smells like camping. Come to think of it, one of those... Continue Reading →

Running with the Bear, pt. 2: Lost with the Claire

"Haha, you stupid fool. The trail is that way!" The Witch said, pointing across the steep ravine that the river had dug into the hill. I looked at the crack in the mountain with the river at the bottom, and then I looked up all the steep loose rocks on the slope at the other side and got ready for Mom to yell a lot.

Running with the Bear

"What an adorable running partner," said the lady.
"Aw, you're so nice to say so, but she's really only a 5," I said. 
"Thanks, I think so too," said the 5. 
"Ooooooh. She was talking to you," said the 10.

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.”

…Previously, in South Dakota

They looked like their father was a cow and their mother was a warthog, because they looked like someone had taken a cow and squeezed all of its extra parts up around its shoulders until it had no neck at all. And their haircuts were just terrible, like Julia Child or Norm MacDonald, but worse.

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