When we planned this trip there was one hike that made Mom nervous more than the others, and not just because it started 55 miles down a dirt road. Well… mostly because it was 55 miles down a dirt road, but also because, at about 17 miles it would be our longest day. And because the whole point of the hike was at the end, turning back would mean failure. There were a zillion things that could go wrong: We could have a Wagon issue too far down the road to walk out with no way to call for help. We could run out of food, or water, or get too hot or tired to go on. We could get hurt or lost. Forget that most of these things were problems that could have happened on any number of our other adventures, the fact that Mom KNEW about all the things that could go wrong made it more scary. Mom cut this hike out and re-added it to our itinerary over and over. One minute she would chicken out, and then she would decide that she was being a Chicken Little over nothing and decide we should definitely give it a try. Every time she changed her mind, my suspense grew until the day before we maybe planned to maybe go, she was changing her mind every 5 minutes and I couldn’t handle it anymore. “So are we skipping it or what?!” I asked when we stopped at the Gas Station of Truth, where she had to decide whether to turn onto the dirt road or leave town. “Let’s just see how far we can go on the road, and if there’s mud or big rocks then we’ll turn around,” I she said. “And if we have to turn around, we’ll be at peace with it,” she added, as if I were the one with the FOMO.
Oscar the Cowdog
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