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.
After driving only a few squiggles, the white dirt stopped acting like it had been dropped there by accident and started to lie on the ground possessively like real winter.
Most of the dragon was underground with only his flanks and stegosaurus crest sticking out of the ground and curling big-spoon-ways around a canyon. The land the dragon slept in was the color of the 1970’s ––all rusty, creamy and drab greys with the rough textures of courderoy and polyester–– but the dragon’s back itself was covered in white chalky scales that flaked off and turned to dust under my paws.
“Oh look! A dog’s been here!” I said, marveling at how snugly my own paw fit into the print. I sniffed at them. “He smells very handsome.”
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.
Slot canyons give me the willies. Their plots are like thrillers, where you never know what’s around the next bend, but you know it's something that doesn’t belong to the real world. Mom loves slot canyons for all the reasons I hate them, because they are filled with surprises and she needs to find clever, swashbuckling ways out of danger.