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My own private outside

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.

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Outback of Nevada

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.

…Previously, in South Dakota

They looked like their father was a cow and their mother was a warthog, because they looked like someone had taken a cow and squeezed all of its extra parts up around its shoulders until it had no neck at all. And their haircuts were just terrible, like Julia Child or Norm MacDonald, but worse.

Cliffhanger

Can you imagine if Aaron Burr won instead of Jefferson? That would sure be weird. Then the mountain would just be 4 guys, 3 of whom happened to be presidents. Or, what if it was George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc, and Alanis Morrisette? People would have been SO confused until 1995!

White Hills

As we got closer to the trail, the ground suddenly rose up into steep, sharp rocks covered in toupees of forest, with desperate trees hanging on for their lives. “Mom! It looks like a painted teapot!” I said, looking up, up, up out the windows. “Are we in China?!”

World falling down

Suddenly, I heard a loud rumbling coming from high on the mountain. It sounded like a crack of thunder, and rumbled in my ears like a gunshot. But it went on for too long to be either a gun or thunder, and had too many sharp new sounds buried inside to be just a disturbance in the air like an echo.

White dirt, schmite dirt

Just at that moment, a man-Oscar in running clothes with hiking chopsticks came bounding up the trail behind us, running with the same rockethorse enthusiasm as me. He had the kind of shapely butt that tights were invented for, and made a mountain man beard look tidy just by opening his toothpaste-ad smile in the middle of it.

Snow country

“Fine,” she said, and chased after me with her shovel-arms. I would have gotten away if we weren’t tied together, but soon she caught me and lifted me onto the log herself. I stood there with my butt in her face and refused to move.

Peek-a-👻

The walls swooped and lunged at us like ghosts as we wound through for almost half a mile. Then we turned a corner and found ourselves looking up at a rock taller than Mom’s head. “I’ve got just the thing,” Mom said, pulling off her packpack. Then she looked at it like someone had pulled a dirty trick on her. “Oh crap, the emergency sling is in the other pack.”

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