"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.
Looking at it from up here I could see that most of My Hometown was really wild. The houses and stores of my life weren't in the center of anything, but only slotted into the cracks and flat places between the mountains and the ocean.
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.
"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.
Mom and I listened to stories about the real-life bandits and stagecoaches of the Old West. “Mom, we’ve been to a lot of these places!” I said, astonished. “Some of them were so small that their gas stations didn’t even have Perrier or string cheese! How could a place be famous and forgotten?”
Usually we can't even go to this trail on the weekend because there's no time to run between all the jumping into the poison oak whenever a bike rides by. But this year Mom has only gotten poison oak one time.
Soon, the road-like-thing turned to conceal itself between the toes of the mountain, and we followed it inside. The trail was marvelously horrible. It looked like the path to a lair of a wicked monster that would crunch the bones of hikers that came to visit him.
I didn’t think you could have a city on mountains so savage, but the people who built this city were the same clan of Oregon trailers who stopped on the section of trail covered in the graves and bones of dead travelers and said, "Here's good!" I guess if you live in a town of people so fond of ringing doorbells, you’ve got to go to extreme lengths to keep your privacy or you’d NEVER get to finish your dinner.