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Not MY last stand, General Custard!

This had been a one-trail-a-day kind of trip, so I was excited to see what Mom had planned for our second adventure of the day. We hiked back to the Wagon and set out in search of further adventure in the White Hills of the Dakota country. There weren’t enough people in South Dakota to need red lights, but eventually Mom found one and asked The Witch some questions about the trail we were headed to. “Crap,” she said. “It’s like 2500 feet higher than the other one, and the weather report says it’s snowing there right now.” “Yippee! Fresh white dirt for snow angels!” I couldn’t wait. “If it’s a bust then we’ll just do our sightseeing from the car, okay?” Mom said. “Doing snow angels in the car? That sounds kind of lame,” I said. “There isn’t even enough room to stretch out in here. And out there there are hardly any roads. How are we going to know that we’re not missing the best stuff if we don’t explore?” We were almost there when Mom said, “Crap, it says that the road is closed ahead. We may have to turn back.”



after the late 90s must come to the hiking trails every day to make sure no one gets lost. Even when there were no signs on the trees, Mom and I could still follow the path through the white dirt that was just as clear as any paw-worn regular-dirt path. We walked through a thin forest of pine trees with granite towers sticking out of the ground like stern statues. The weather hung around us in a cold, wet fog that hid all the scenery like a bathroom mirror after a shower. I had to come close enough to sniff the rocks to examine their character. They were craggy like the face of a human with bad skin, and had shiny and sparkly bits in them that you could see only at just the right angle, like Clint Eastwood‘s heart of gold.





Devil’s Tower and the weather’s supposed to clear by tomorrow,” she said. “Our parking permit is good for a week… What’s say we stay here one more day?” “Where are we going next?” I asked. “Will we miss anything if we stay?” “After this we head home. It’ll take us 3 hikes to get there, but we have a week.” “How many hikes in a week?” “Seven.” “And is three more or less than seven?” “Let me put it this way, for every day that we don’t find something to keep us on the back roads, we have to spend a day locked in the house staring at each other.” “Yeah, but there must be a lot to do between here and home!” I said. “What if we miss something?” “There is a ton to see between here and California. The problem is that it’s March and the way home is mostly through mountains, so it’ll be too early for hiking in the Rockies and the Sierras.” she said. “Then let’s live in this car kennel forever where we’re safe!” I said.

Oscar the Pooch


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