I followed her and watched where she was going so that I would know where to climb and what rocks she wanted me to jump "up-up" onto. Mom was climbing like she was walking through a dark room; putting her paws carefully on the ground and holding on to rocks like she didn't expect the ground to stay where it was. "Mom, what are you doing?" I asked.
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.
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.
We left the main trail and followed the footsteps and rock piles back to the secret passageway that would take us back down the cliff. The only problem was that the trail disappeared as if by magic. We found a pile of rocks wedged under an overhang like it was trying to tell us something, but we couldn't figure out what. We went back and forth over the same 1/10 of a mile of trail over and over, and couldn’t find anything trail-like anywhere; no packed-down snow, no shoe prints in the sand, no rock piles, not even a long stretch without things to climb over.