Today was much better than yesterday. Mom and I left our Six Star Motel when it was still in the middle of the night so that we could catch up with our adventure. Mom wanted to be on the trail early because she thought it might get hot if we started too late, but she needn’t have worried because we did start late and it didn’t get hot. After about 5 hours in the car-house, several get-losts and some trail driving we found the trailhead. There were some guys sleeping in a tent in the spot where we parked, and they were just waking up when we got there! I wished that Mom had thought of that, because I’m not a morning dog.
Mom read the information sign to me; it said, “You are entering a special place..” Then it said nothing at all about leashes! So Mom and I set each other free to explore the Special Place in our own ways, which for me was a mix of sprinting and waiting, and for Mom it was a mix of hiking and something that looked a little bit like running.
Mom was still on edge about all the dangers yesterday, and spent most of the adventure picking her fingers through her head fur looking for ticks, but eventually even she settled in and started enjoying The Special Place. Instead of tall grasses, it was covered in soft pine needles, and prickly pine cones, and lots and lots of rocks of all sizes for us to run over.
If there were a beauty contest for trails, this one wouldn’t even make it to the semifinal round, but the thing about nature is that there isn’t just eye beauty, there’s also leg beauty. Some of the trails with epic views and incredible colors and smells are so boring and monotonous for your legs. The Special Trail trail was like a video game for our legs, and a puzzle game for our feet. There were so many bends and rocks and pine cones and roots on the trail that I had to pick my path strategically, and then my legs had to land in just the right place and bounce in just the right way or it was game over. Sometimes I leapt over a rock like a horse, and other times I jumped on the rock and used it to vault myself even faster down the trail. Sometimes it made sense to cross a stream by jumping from rock to rock, and sometimes it made more sense to kick my feet up high and run straight through. Unlike the boring paths we run at home, this trail used every muscle in my hunky body. Mom’s running wasn’t as nice to look at, but she had fun too in her more plodding and deliberate way, and her footwork got a little frisky too.
We were supposed to run a loop path, but just when we got to the furthest point where the loop was supposed to start curving back, the trail disappeared under some of that magnificent white dirt. Since we weren’t planning on going any higher, Mom thought maybe we could hike through the white dirt for awhile and when we went down in elevation a little bit the trail would come out from under it. We were right at the border of the white dirt, so it couldn’t be far she explained… So we wandered around in circles, looking for something in the blankness that looked like it might be leading somewhere. Suddenly, my legs disappeared into the white dirt up to my leg pits and I was left standing in the snow on my belly like a baked potato. I climbed out and Mom and I would have laughed about it, except next Mom disappeared to half way up her thighs. She was wearing shorts, so she had less of a sense of humor about it, and said that we should probably do safety and just go back down the way we’d come.
When we got back to the car-house, Mom had hiked-run almost 9 miles, and I’d hiked closer to 82, and our legs were sore. So after a lunch Mom and I went to a river to stand in the cold water, which is supposed to help our legs recover, but also make us less stinky. Instead of camping out in a six star motel, tonight we were going to do what we had seen the other two guys do this morning and take the car-house to tomorrow’s trail and sleep there.
When we pulled off the main road and onto a dirt road, Mom looked at the map to see how far we had to go to the trailhead. “That can’t be right,” she said as she zoomed out and out and out to get all of the dirt road in the picture. It looked like we were going to have to drive for years on this car trail to get to the trailhead. An hour and a half later, we were still driving, although to be fair, Mom did have to get out a bunch of times to throw big rocks over the side of the mountain so that it would be safe for the car-house. We drove up so high that we could see the mountains all around us, and it was very beautiful. But Mom was getting sick of driving the car-house so slow, and I wasn’t entirely sure if it was a good idea to be driving our car-house that used to be a mail-man-van on a road like this. So when we were maybe close to the end (but maybe not really), she pulled over the car-house and said, “Right! That’s good enough! We’re sleeping here. We’ll see how we feel in the morning and decide whether we drive the rest of the way, or just run from here.”
-Oscar the Live E-sports Star