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Mom promised me that this trip would be all about us, but so far it has been all about the car-house that we rented. Instead of staying in the woods last night we stayed in the sort of place where Mom said that people live who aren’t allowed to live within 800 feet of a school or park. I’m not quite sure what that means, but when we checked in the lady told Mom not to go outside the park alone, because people get kidnapped on that road. A few years ago a lady was kidnapped just a few miles from that spot, “…And they had her for six months,” the lady explained, like she actually meant something else. “What was she doing for those 6 months?” I asked. “You know what it’s like when you take a bath?” Mom said. “For six months she had to take baths over and over with people who didn’t even love her.” The thought of something like that made me so scared that I don’t even want to think about it. I wished that we could leave this horrible place, but we needed to be there just in case the car-house didn’t start again and we needed to call for help, or to go to the fixer shop.

Which we did.

We got up at 6:00, and instead of finding a run, Mom used her phone to call for help to get the house started. She was on the phone a lot, and every time she sat down to eat breakfast or something, her phone would ring again and she would have to stop and climb around the car-house for a little while searching for things. Finally, after 2 hours a helper man came and turned our house back into a car-house. But instead of driving right to the mountains, we had to drive to a fixer shop to get a new buttery.

While we were at the fixer shop, Mom made me stay in the car-house while she went inside and talked to the people. Then she walked away to make another phone call. While she was gone a man got in the car-house with me and drove me away.

It was happening!

I was getting kidnapped!

And I was going to have to spend the next 6 months (which is YEARS to a dog) having baths over and over. Worst of all, Mom wouldn’t even know where I was, and she would have to go on without a life coach! She needs so much help, I wasn’t sure if she would make it on her own. I was bugging out, but I sat real still in the back so that maybe the man wouldn’t get mad and make me take a bath right away.

They took me and the car-house into a room with lots of loud and scary noises, and left it there with me inside. I didn’t know whether this was a Scary Thing or a Normal Thing, so I just sat on the bed in the car-house and waited to hear the water running. My whole life was passing before my eyes when the door opened and it was…

MOM!!!!!!! She had come to rescue me! I was so happy to see her that I jumped and squealed (in a manly way, of course), and wasn’t even scared by the crazy man across the street screaming at the sky. He sounded more upset than anyone I have ever heard in my entire life.

Finally, four hours after Mom picked up the phone to call for help, we got to leave the scary place and go do the run that we wanted to do early this morning. “We don’t have time to do the long run all the way up to the dam anymore,” said Mom, “but maybe we can still have a nice time doing a shorter run.”


…then it started to rain. Neither Mom nor I like the rain.


We ran about 6.5 miles, and I explored a little river and waterfall. But I could tell that Mom was forcing herself through it.

I didn’t really want to go back to work so soon after the trauma of being kidnapped, but Mom needed my services. “What’s wrong?” I asked, booting up life coach mode. “The rain isn’t so bad. See? We’re not even that soaked, and it’s kind of warm out. And there are all those colors that I can’t see… The grey river, and the grey trees, and the dark grey and white mountains…”




The whole time we could see lots of big, pointy mountains all around us. The biggest and pointiest of all blended into the sky because it had snow on it, and the snow was still coming down from the clouds, so it just went from mountain to snow to clouds in one seamless smudge. Mom said that the smudge was called Mt. Shasta.


responsibility, I was real careful to stay close to her so that we could look at all of the interesting museum things together. Interesting things are more fun when you see them with someone else. “See, Mom. We’re together, and we’re having fun, and it’s beautiful. Isn’t that enough?” “Wouldn’t you rather have been doing this than spending those 4 hours in the scary place with the kidnappers? Don’t we deserve this?”

I’m a good life coach, but I didn’t know how to answer that.

-Oscar the survivor


#volcanicpark #carproblems #roadtrip #redding #rvpark #Shastalake #sacramentorivertrail


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