New Year’s hike

"Mom, mom! Come here and look! Quick! There's a man dressed like Smokey the Bear!"  Then Mom came clattering out of the bushes. If she were a cartoon character, she would have had twigs in her hair, hashtags on her cheeks and forehead, and her tongue hanging out. But in real life she just looked like a lost person. 

Hot dogs

Next we met a very handsome gentleman dressed in a tux just like me. Only Oscar and James Bond can wear a tux on a hot day without panting, and this guy was struggling. But as I came past, he rose up from being a potato to say hello and sniff my butt. "It’s a miracle!” said his lady. “He was too hot to walk down the hill, but now that he’s smelled your irresistible butt, he has legs to stand on again!”

The longest trail

“A lot of it goes through National and State Parks where they don’t allow dogs. That’s why we couldn’t go to Glacier or Yellowstone in Montana... or Yosemite, or Big Sur, or Olympic State Park, or Crater Lake, or lots of the other places that people recommended.” We both sighed when we thought about all the places that I can’t go just because I’m a dog and I poop in the bushes, bark at people, and chase bunnies. It really doesn't seem fair, because Mom does all those things except chase bunnies. "Anyway, it gets really hot in some of those places and you have to hike in the middle of the day. You probably wouldn’t like it,” Mom said. Then she pointed at an old dead tree that had its butt sticking up in the air. “Look! That tree looks like an octopus’s cloaca! Go stand on it so I can take a picture.”

An enchanted mountain, and the moon

The thing that had turned Mom into a a cream puff was that there was a perfect waterfall falling from right above our heads. It was small enough that its roar wasn’t scary and you could look at it all at once, and it spit a mist into the air that made the air sparkle. All around the waterfall were shiny rocks with bright green furry moss decorating them, and next to the big waterfall were smaller blue ice waterfalls. On the ground there were giant chunks of ice that were perfectly clear and looked like soccer-ball-sized diamonds. We were in a fairy land for tough people, like that elf city in Lord of the Rings (obviously, I’m Legolas and Mom is Gimli).

Leash aggression

Mom! The things you come up with! Snow is a SUMMER thing. I have lived through four winters and never once has it snowed in the winter. It only comes out on a warm day in the mountains. I've seen snow like half a dozen times, so I'm an expert. Obviously, the mountains grow snow in the summer so that they can stay cool and don’t get a sunburn. Haven’t you been paying attention? Any idiot could figure that out.

Planning

Then again, people who don’t like any rules also tend to enjoy hunting. There were all these plastic things on the ground that Mom said were hunter droppings. Mom hoped that her red hat and my red lobster bandana would keep us safe, but she’s a suburban vegetarian liberal who follows the rules and doesn’t really know much about how hunters think.

Responsibility

Finally a nice man came to help us. I barked at him, but he wasn’t scared so I knew he was a friend and I let him fix our car-house.

Dung starter

"How can you drink out of the wrong water fountain? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Weren't you listening earlier...?! There's no apartheid at the dog beach."

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