"What shall we do now that all of our problems are behind us?" I asked as the car-house pulled back onto the coast highway and put-putted north.
"We'll find a trail along the way," Mom promised.
We floated down the coastal highway, bobbing over the hills like a bottle searching for a beach to wash up on. But the world is vast, and there isn't always a current that flows straight toward what you want, or a sign to let you know when you've found it.
After we'd driven around what must have been the whole world without stopping I announced, "I found the problem. There's nothing but ocean on your side of the car-house. That's why you haven't found anywhere to stop; there aren't any trails in the ocean. Look over here on my side." Mom kept her eyes on the road, so I described what I saw, "There's nothing but hills and forests that way. I bet there's somewhere to play in there."
"I guess..." Mom's eyes stayed on the endless line between land and water, but she pulled a lever and the car-house click-clacked its plans to turn.
Before long, we were surrounded by Christmas trees. We searched the hills for miles for somewhere to stop, but the forests blocked my view of the landscape around us. Only when we reached the top of a hill could I see all the way to the horizon, and clones of the same firry hill ruffling all the land in between.
Mom kept her eyes in the trees, checking each gap in between for signs of a trail. But every time the car-house hesitated or swerved to check out a lead, Mom decided to move on before we even reached a full stop.
When I couldn't take the bored-citement any longer I said, "Look at all those forests begging for someone to explore them. Why not us?"
"How are there no trailheads in this whole darned forest," Mom snarled in the voice she uses when she wants to talk to a manager. "Every time I think I see one there's a sign by the road that says No Stopping."
"Signs can't boss you around like that!" I said confidently. "What are they going to do? Chase us?"
"It's not us we need to worry about. What do you think would happen if the van got towed?"