What keeps pulling us out of our Stuck House to wander through this part of the country is that it's easier to appreciate what we have when Mom doesn't have to worry about all the responsibilities of having stuff. Things like hot poop juice in Mom's dented cup or turning the heater to sauna mode after a cold hike make us feel more wealthy than all the fancy City espressos in the world.
The distances got shorter and everything got smaller the longer I walked. It was like I was on a movie set that only looks real if you stand in the right spot, and when you walk around you discover that everything is a size that doesn't match.
Slot canyons give me the willies. Their plots are like thrillers, where you never know what’s around the next bend, but you know it's something that doesn’t belong to the real world. Mom loves slot canyons for all the reasons I hate them, because they are filled with surprises and she needs to find clever, swashbuckling ways out of danger.
She was hanging with only her toes on the ground and her brand new Ross Dress for Less jacket caught on the fence post. I looked at her dangling feet and her swimming arms. “I’m not with her,” I said.
“You see,” Mom said. “The trick to not getting stuck is to just keep moving. Eventually you’ll find solid ground again. It's a metaphor. You should put that in your blog.”
Mom plans for everything that won't go wrong and when everything goes right, she and Oscar decide to turn around anyway.
After a few minutes, Mom checked the mapp. "You idiot! You're on the wrong trail!" The Witch told her. "The trail was back that way!"
“See the rabbit ears?”
"Where?!" I asked, looking around and then following the line of her arm. I looked up, up, up so high that it hurt my neck, and at the very tallest part of the mountain I saw two steep potatoes of rock that sprouted up higher than the rest. “Is he behind those ear-shaped rocks?” I panted.
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.
I didn’t think you could have a city on mountains so savage, but the people who built this city were the same clan of Oregon trailers who stopped on the section of trail covered in the graves and bones of dead travelers and said, "Here's good!" I guess if you live in a town of people so fond of ringing doorbells, you’ve got to go to extreme lengths to keep your privacy or you’d NEVER get to finish your dinner.