See the video I made about this run here.
It’s adventure day! I had to help mom drive a real long time to get to today’s adventure. When we drove through the 4,927 stoplights in The City, I kissed her gently on the eyeball or in the ear hole at each one so that she would know she was doing a good job. When we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, I got excited. “ARE WE GOING TO SEE BODIE?!?!” “No, Bodie’s out of town. But we’re going to explore her trails.” This seemed like it could be dangerous. Bodie lives in Mill Valley, which is where Invasion of the Body Snatchers happened. If you don’t know Invasion of the Body Snatchers, it is a 100% true story about how in the 60s alien pods took over people’s bodies and made them satisfied with their lives. It’s a horror story, of course. I know it’s a true story because I see body snatcher victims all the time. Mom thinks they’re just normal people, but I know better. Upside-down TV Man: Body snatcher. Rollerblader: body snatcher. Tall man in a stupid hat: that guy’s just a jerk.
After getting thoroughly lost, Mom finally found the trailhead and a parking spot right outside it. I was a little concerned about her navigation since we had driven past the trailhead twice before she stopped, and the driving part of the adventure was the part where she had a map. She hadn’t actually been able to find a map of the trails. “We’ll just keep going uphill until we’ve gone 3-5 miles,” she explained. What could possibly go wrong?
We followed Mom’s navigation plan until suddenly after 2 miles we popped out on a road. There were two people walking on The Road, but Mom was a little scared to ask them directions. “He’s got a bit of a limp, Oscar. Are you going to decide that he’s a body snatcher and scream at him if I ask them a question?” “Nah, he’s cool.” “Where does this road go?” Mom asked the limping man and his companion. “It goes to the inn in about 3 miles, and then 4 miles to the top.” Neither I nor Mom really wanted to admit that we had no idea what the “top” was the top of, or what inn they were talking about. “So the top is 4 miles from here, or it’s 7 miles from here?” Mom asked. “The top is 7 miles from here, and 4 miles from the inn, which is 3 miles from here,” the people explained. Now that we knew math, Mom and I decided that we would go as far as the inn – whatever that was – for a 10-mile round trip.
Soon we found a trail again, and it was infested with mountain bikers. “Did you know that mountain biking was invented on this mountain?” Mom asked. “Really?” “I don’t know, it’s just something someone told me once. It could be false. But maybe it is true…” Pretty soon I noticed that the trail wasn’t actually crawling with mountain bikers, it was that we kept passing and getting re-passed by the same 4 mountain bikers who were moving at a crawl. “Gol-ly, Mom. We must be running really fast if we can pass mountain bikers!” I said. “Well, they’re kinda… old…” Mom pointed out. “Do you think that they’re the guys who invented mountain biking?!” “Yes, Oscar. I’m sure they’re one in the same.” When we were passing the Inventors of Mountain Biking for the 300th time, one of them asked who was doing the pulling. Mom got to plagiarize my line about “doggie doping” and we were both satisfied to get a hearty laugh from them.
We only stopped our game of leapfrog with the Inventors of Mountain Biking when Mom found this itty bitty, teeny tiny little trail that was made of rustic steps and big rocks. This trail was too steep to run, so Mom and I worked our way up the side of the mountain much more slowly. The sun had come out all of a sudden while we were making friends with the mountain bikers, and I was starting to get warm and pant-y. “Do you think we’re close to the inn?” I asked. “I have no idea, but I promise we’ll turn around after 5 miles. That’s in about a quarter mile.” Then, in the blink of an eye we popped out of the wilderness onto a paved road with water fountains and a visitor’s center. “Oscar! We made it to the top!”
I guess sometimes life is like that. Some mountains get taller as you climb them, so you can never ever find the top. Other mountains sink so that you get to the top of them much faster than you thought. This must be a sinking mountain. I did wonder what had happened to the inn.
On the way back down, Mom saw a donkey on the right side of the trail and a couple of dogs on the left side of the trail. The donkey’s person and the dogs’ people were talking, and we were going to have to run right in between them. Mom shouted to the 2 dogs, 3 people and the donkey, “I hope he’s tired enough to handle this situation graciously!” As we ran through the gauntlet, the 3 people cheered for me and told me what a good dog I am. The 2 dogs smiled at me and I paraded through like the superstar I am. “Good boy, Oscar!” Mom said, stunned. “You were so good ignoring that donkey!” “What’s a donkey?” I asked.
-Oscar the Pooch