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Hiking lesson

“You are so handsome!” Willy told me, when she saw how nice the flowers looked with me sitting on them. “You’ve really got a talent for this hiking thing,” I told her. “There are people who hike for years without ever noticing how handsome I am.”

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From way up in the sky the lake looked like it wasn’t deep at all, and that a brave dog could walk all the way across if he didn’t mind getting his socks wet. But now that we were at the edge of it, I could look into the calm grey water and see that it was very, very deep, and that the tiny islands that barely poked their noses out of the surface were actually very tall rocks standing up from a bottom so deep that I couldn’t see it under all that glowing grey water. 

Fascinator

And with that she started boot scooting down the trail. Then, something changed and instead of scooting one buttstep at a time Mom was sliding smoothly. “This rock that’s wedged in my butt crack… “It’s sliding quite nicely on this layer of snow on these rocks.” "I always wondered what that slot in human butts was for!"

Rocky and raccoons

When we got back to the bottle with the beak that snogged the foul-smelling snot, I saw a family of raccoons fiddling with the trash dumpster. They weren't actually raccoons, they were two people and a dog, but I'd never seen people trying to unlock a dumpster before, so I figured that they must be raccoons in some very clever costumes.

Another dam mountain

One was a waterfall that fell thousands of feet off the rock like it couldn’t help itself. It flailed its spray desperately trying to grab onto the steep, smooth rock. But the mountain didn’t care what it was putting the river through any more than it cared about draining my battery, and so the cliff gave the river nothing to hang on to on its long fall down to the valley, where it kerpleweyed into an explosion of froth and guts.

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.

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?!”

Oscar-sized

The best thing about this little sprout of a canyon was that it was on my scale, and Mom and I climbed in and out over the rocks, taking in the canyon from all angles. Then we walked out over the sandstone plane that surrounded the canyon-let, losing the trail almost as often as Mom took pictures. Come to think of it, I’m not so sure we were following a trail at all, so much as wandering from one interesting thing to another.

Turnt at Albuquerque

she kept staring up toward where the sunrise should have been. Instead of a sunrise, there was a giant mountain covered in an armor of thorny rock spikes. Puffy clouds were stuck in the spikes like trash stuck a fence along the freeway, and those clouds were lit up from underneath by the missing sunrise. The whole thing worked like a trap to pull on Mom's eyes like a giant billboard that said CLIMB ME.

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