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.”
As we climbed higher, even the mountain we were on started to grow a little stubble of white dirt. It was funny to see the spikey desert plants and tumbleweeds sticking out of the white dirt like that. There was even white dirt as we came down into Roadrunner and Wily E Coyote country where cracks became canyons and the white dirt made the mountains look more like wedding cakes than muffin tops.
Mom and I turned back around to see that one of the odd humans was moving only his mouth while the rest of him stood still like a statue. “Mom! Quick! This guy found gold, but I think he’s a disabled person. I bet if I bark a lot to create a distraction, you could steal all the gold from him and then we could run away with it and he couldn’t chase us because of his disability. Then we’d be rich! On the count of three. One… two...”
The trail we found was one of the most beautiful trails that we’ve ever run. Mom is the kind of person who rarely leaves positive reviews, but this trail was so great that it inspired Mom to leave a Six Star review on Alltrails, which is like the human version of leaving pee mail on your walk. I told her that she should start her review with “Wowie zowie,” but I guess that’s an expression that is very professional for dogs to say, but sounds different to humans.
If she had her way, we would walk out the door, and then just keep walking in straight lines until we arrived back at the door again. That’s not what a walk is for! A walk is for curiosity, and sniffing all of the things that are happening in the neighborhood, and sometimes leaving bulletins of your own, and barking at the neighbors.