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The stupidest, most dangerous thing we’ve ever done

Work didn’t need me for an extra day this weekend, so Mom and I decided to go up to the Easter Sierra one last time before winter closes the highest mountains. Mom carefully picked three trails: two easy ones and one hard one. Then she read all the reviews and looked at all the pictures to make sure that there were no dog traps like rock climbing, or Mom traps like cliffs. The “hard” trail came first, and all the people on the internet said that it was really tough, but that we probably wouldn’t get lost, and nobody mentioned dying or even near-dying on their adventures. So Mom and I made a pact: even if we went slow and it was hard, we would follow the examples of my explorer-heroes George Mallory and Robert Falcon Scott, and we wouldn’t quit when things got hard. So Mom filled the packpack with a bigger than usual bag of snacks, and all the water it could hold. Then we started hiking. 

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While I was waiting, I ran up the bank to the nearest wagon to warn them that a crazyperson was approaching. I found a ladyl two people puppies and three dogs. “Hey, guys! When was the last time you saw a really dumb person?” I barked. “If you look down at the river right now, you can see one putting on her shoes.” 

When Mom heard me bark, she barked for me to come back, and I led the way to where the campers could find her. They didn’t follow me, but when I came back, proudly towing Mom behind me like a wagon trailer, they gave her a dirty look. 


We reached the unpleasant surprise right as we finished the fourth mile. The valley ended where two mountains rubbed shoulders, making a kind of enormous wall at the top of the valley. Where the mountains came together was a great skirt made from all the dirt and rocks that couldn’t hang on to the towers of pointy peaks up top. They were the kinds of mountains that looked like a growling doberman’s teeth, and I couldn’t wait to stand on top of one and look down at all of the other pointy and rocky mountains like in all the pictures Mom had shown me. There had been lots of times when Mom and I had stared at the toothy mountains, and the gums of scree at the base, and wondered just how hard that pile of sand and rocks would be to climb. Now we would find out. 


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Since I couldn’t climb on my booty quite like Mom, I had to be careful where I walked, too. After a few mini slips, I decided the safest place to sit was right behind Mom. “I wish you weren’t back there,” Mom said. “In fact, I wish you were literally anywhere else.” “But if I fall, this way you’ll catch me.” “What makes you think that if you fall on me, either of us is going to stop falling? And anyway, the rocks you push down the hill are hitting me.” “Cowabunga!” “I’ve got a rock that slid under my butt the last time you moved poking right up my butt crack right now.” “Um… Cowabunga!”






Oscar the rock surfer



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