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!"
We tottered and stumbled through the maze of roads that all looked a lot like each other, and twisted up on themselves like they wanted to go nowhere. After awhile we found the trail, which looked a lot like the not-trail we’d been hiking on before.
Mom was just coming back from checking the woods for a better Wagon hiding spot when a pair of aggressive headlights pulled over from the other side of the road to get a better look at us.
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.
No one ever achieved enlightenment in the rain, so just like all the prophets before us, we would need to travel all the way to the desert to seek enlightenment.
I hung back, hoping Mom would change her mind, but she marched on without hesitating until we were standing at the bottom of the taco-shaped hole in the rock where someone had left half a dozen metal rings hanging like earrings from loops drilled into the rock. Then Mom unveiled her plan...
When Mom reached the landing and saw us all waiting for her, she practically screamed. “No hugging!” she choked when she saw me pushing against my new Friend. “Not on the cliff side of the trail!”
What keeps pulling us out of our Stuck House to wander through this part of the country is that it's easier to appreciate what we have when Mom doesn't have to worry about all the responsibilities of having stuff. Things like hot poop juice in Mom's dented cup or turning the heater to sauna mode after a cold hike make us feel more wealthy than all the fancy City espressos in the world.