On the Trail, a Play in Three Acts

Act 1: The Pre-Game Show

8:00am – I knock on the Padawan’s door to wake him up. I hear a grunt, so I know he is, at least, alive.

8:15 – A second knock, accompanied by a mild threat encouragement.

8:20 – The Padawan emerges, coughing, groaning, and sneezing pitifully. “I think I caught something yesterday,” he moans. His paroxysms would garner more sympathy if he didn’t fake his own death before every, single hike.

8:25 The Padawan flops into a chair with a dramatic sigh.

8:30 The Padawan reads “Penguins With People Problems.” Under normal circumstances, I would applaud his choice. It’s hilarious. But we’re going to rack up some miles! Times a-wastin’!

8:35 The Padawan pets a baby kitty. It’s about to get real all up in here.

8:45 After vaguely veiled threats to take him on the trail in his ever-lovin’ jim-jams, he is finally dressed and ready to go. Squish is easier. It’s the one time I’m grateful he sleeps in his clothes. All I have to do is put on his boots and point him in the right direction.

Act 2: On the Trail

11:42am – It took us a while because we got lost. More than once. went exploring, but we’re finally ready to step off at the trail head. Armed with four Clif bars and a bag of apples plenty of food and water, we are ready to get this done!

11:45am – Threaten to sell the Padawan to the circus.

12:30 – Threaten to sell BOTH boys to the circus.

12:45 – Wonder why I ever thought it was a good idea to go hiking on my own. I’m not sad that my Saloman boots are being repaired. I have these Timberlands. I love them so much that I have three identical pairs.

1:00 – Like a muscle that simply needs time to warm up, the Padawan’s attitude improves dramatically. We talk school and books and politics.  We keep our eyes peeled for good places to hunt salamanders.

1:10 – I get a terrific idea! The boys are skeptical. Kids have hiked with me before sure turn cynical quickly these days, don’t they? The little scamps! Hey, fellas, what say we add a few miles to this trail? Let’s make the turn and head up Goshen’s Prong for a couple of miles? Wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t it?!! After a promise of Sonic Blasts or Yu-gi-oh cards, they agree. Fantastic idea, Mom!

Act 3: The Reckoning

2:30 – I’m not tired! Man, these boots are small. Wow, how did I forget how small these boots are? If it weren’t for that deformed long toe of mine.

2:45 – This was a good idea, right? Yes, it was. We’re going to get extra miles to help us to our 100 mile goal! Just think how close we will be! Did I ever mention that I am allergic to wool socks? Yeah, I forgot, too. That’s an interesting rash.

2:50 – Attempt to saw off my two deformed toes with a rock and a sharp stick.

3:00 – Not much further now, kids! We’re down and back! Down and back! Let’s catch us some salamanders! Or you boys catch them. My hands are swollen like two chunks of wood. I might squish the hapless amphibians. And my boots are feeling a wee bit snug. Isn’t that funny? Ha-ha?

Probably a species of Dusky Salamander. These things are EVERYWHERE up here. It's one place where there are more amphibians than tourists.

Probably a species of Dusky Salamander. These things are EVERYWHERE up here. It’s one place where there are more amphibians than tourists.

3:05 – Enough with the salamanders, boys. We’ve caught enough. We’ve each found one. Or we found one. I don’t know. Can we just go?

3:15 – My feet. At least the rapid swelling has replaced itchy with numbness. So there’s that.

3:30 – See that patch of sunlight up a ways? That’s the trail head! We’re almost there!

3:35 – Wrong #$%$ patch of sunlight, kids. Just stop talking and keep walking. Just. Keep. Walking. To the nearest boot store, if possible.

3:50 – That patch of sunlight was the wrong one, too. Keep frickin’ walking. Whose idea was this, anyway?

3:55 – My. Feet. Hurl boots into nearest stream and wonder if I can convince one of the boys to carry me.

I don't sit down with them. Mostly because I'm afraid I won't get up again.

I don’t sit down with them. Mostly because I’m afraid I won’t get up again.

4:00 – Oh, thank you, sweet baby Jesus, for leading us out of the woods! You are our light in the darkness! What do you MEAN, the car is another half-mile from here? I know the closest parking lot was full when we got here, but doesn’t the park service offer valet? How many Yu-gi-oh cards will I have to give for a helicopter rescue?

That makes 90 miles for me. Only 10 more to go. Let’s go again TOMORROW!

 

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11 thoughts on “On the Trail, a Play in Three Acts

  1. Oh…dear. Can I stop laughing long long enough to express my thanks??! Y’see, having grown up in a backpacking family, the question occasionally rises in my mind: “why don’t I ever go hiking anymore?”

    ANSWER RECEIVED.

    You have no idea the great public service this post has done me!! Truly!

  2. Both hubby and I love bushwalking/ tramping /hiking and we’re trying to ease the boys into it gently… don’t want to give them a traumatic memory and turn them off hiking for life! The longest we’ve done is about 4km, and so far so good… *touch wood*

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