Bodie started digging for gold while I supervised her work. Then, when she ran off to check if a puppy was worth bullying, I lay down in her hole, which was cool, and damp, and perfectly Oscar sized. For the next hour or so, we stayed in that spot, sunbathing or digging until a puppy came along that we could gang up on.
I'm a brave dog, but Mom's new legs were terrifying. Whenever she used them to clack and swing herself around the house, I shivered and cowered as far away as I could get and still watch her. Mostly Mom spent a lot of time in bed just like I do, napping and getting bored right there with me. Since her monster leg was in bed with us, I sat on Mom's shoulder or lay my head on her chest and watched it so that I could bark at it in case it got up and tried to attack one of us. The good thing about me protecting Mom from her monster leg was that we did lots of snuggling and cuddling when The Leg wasn't watching.
I was having fun chasing bunnies and discovering dead cows, but I was afraid that this wouldn't be enough adventure for Mom's last expedition. We had hiked almost 5 miles and she hadn't had to figure anything out yet, and I hadn't had to be brave and use my gorgeous and brawny muscles to get me out of danger.
Then we came around the bend and saw that the trail had fallen into another hole. In the spot where it disappeared was a rickety metal ladder that had fallen in and was trying to climb back out. I peeked over the edge, and saw that the drop was almost 2 Moms tall, so I backed up real quick so it couldn't suck me down like it had the ladder. Mom stayed at the edge inspecting the rock. Then, to my horror, she held out her arms and tried to scoop me up! Luckily, I am very fast and she can't run.
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.
“A crater?! Like from a meteor from space?!” I looked around at the flatness around me with new eyes. Maybe this was where the crater was that bombed the dinosaurs. Maybe this crater was SO BIG that the edges of it just looked like mountains. “No, not that kind of crater. A volcano crater.”
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.