The mountains in Washington are steep in a way that I think might be illegal in California, because I’ve never climbed anything in California that’s as steep for as long as everything I’ve climbed in Washington. Our first hike in Washington was supposed to be an easy one. It was less than 10 miles long, right near the freeway, and The Witch said that lots of people go there. Since most people are big wusses (Mom decided), that must mean that it would be an easy climb. Mom is wrong a lot…
After we’d hiked about half a mile up a slow, wide trail, Mom said, “This isn’t so bad!” Then we turned into the forest and slammed into the mountain that was more wall than floor. The forest crowded in so close around us that it was hard to see the trail, but it was the good thing the trees were so close because without their roots to make stairs, then the trail would have been one long dirt slide into the valley. The trail climbed so steeply that I had to climb it in big, two-legged leaps. I soared far ahead of Mom with my back paws exploding under me in an impressive kerplow! that impressed every wilting hiker who saw me. Behind me, Mom climbed in big, ground-swallowing steps, bringing her knee almost to her chest and grabbing tree trunks when she could to hoist herself to the next step.
Mt. Rainier-Than-What?. Or, that’s what I would have seen if my eyes were in my tail, but climbing as I was the only thing at the end of my nose was dirt.
Oscar the Inspiration
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