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.
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.
It looked like there had been a battle royale of foul weather right before we got there, with the wind and the white dirt fighting for dominance over the mountains. To Mom’s delight, it seemed like the wind had won.
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!
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?!”
The hills were rounded and furry with wiry grass that was excellent for rolling in, and here and there in the distance sprouted tiny farm houses. There was a 1% cloud in the air, and the sun lit it up and gave everything a glow the color of gold like a scene from a 99¢ Christmas card.
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.
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.