“What is the difference between rock climbing, and mountaineering, and hiking? Like, if you wanted to climb that mountain up there, you’d have to get up all that scree.” She pointed at one of the steep fangs, and the thick gums of rocks and sand at the bottom. “Well, you’ve got to do your research. People will post what approaches are loose or dangerous, and what routes are safest and so on.” “Well, what if you were on the right trail and you slip anyway?"
Mom said, "DON'T!!!" and Karen froze. Then she stood up and walked right over to the sink and started washing her hands. I didn't know what happened, but it made me feel very lonely to have my friend Karen treat me like she didn't even know me all of a sudden.
Since Mom was already off balance, my jig pulled her off the one leg she was standing on and she kicked the packpack of the lady crouched down to take a picture, and shouted a bad word, and then told the lady it was my fault that she'd ruined their picture.
I didn’t remember Dirty Harry starring any Muppets but, it must because the first couple of miles of the trail were dressed in that nappy moss that Muppet fur is made of. The trail looked soft and gentle, but without the moss softening all of the rocks, and logs, and trees, and stumps, the trail might have looked much more rugged and hard like Clint Eastwood usually does.
He stopped so we could pass, and I shouted, "HEY, YOU TWO BIG-MOUTHED FIDDLEHEADS!" I barked at them. "THIS COUNTY PARK AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE TWO OF US!" I had no idea if that was true, but since Mom had brought a real authentic-looking cowboy hat for me to wear today, talking with old west sass was fun.
On our way out of town we drove along the fence holding in the park. We stared longingly out the window at the white sands that looked like a beach vacation advertisement had gotten lost and found itself in the middle of Walter White's desert. Then, like a miracle, the dirt busted right through the fence and to the edge of the highway. Silly park people, you can’t hold in nature.
But no, Mom put me back in the Covered Wagon and turned it on. Then she drove right off the paved road and into the bushes and sand next to the gate, just like Walter White did when he was being an outlaw. “Towanda!” Mom hooted. “To Heisenberg!” I howled. Neither of us actually said those things. But when we drove back onto the pavement on the other side of the gate, Mom did laugh a crazy, evil, triumphant laugh like Kathy Bates after she smashed that fancy car.
It wasn’t just the big cactupi that had spines. The bushes did too. There were round Oscar-high poofs that looked like something you could sit on… if you wanted to get poked in the butt. And there were bushes that looked like they were made of spiny ping pong paddles. And other bushes had tiny little delicate spikes that looked almost like floofs of cotton unless you tried to touch them.
People who don't like the desert just don't appreciate its drama. It's like they are going to the movies hoping to see something with Colin Firth, and instead they get Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a very good actor, and his movies are always very well written and artfully directed, but it is the kind of drama that has grunts, and blood, and gore, and pain, not the drama with tea and feelings.