Monday, July 13, 2009

The Hike

There is a lovely set of mountains near my home. They are one of the best kept secrets in the area, most people only think of the larger mountains across the valley. Mrs Candid was away tonight at a screening for the new Harry Potter movie she was lucky enough to acquire a seat in. That meant it was just Mogli and me. We considered several activities for our evening of fun. The water park, but his right arm is currently broken and casted. The playground, but we do that all the time. MarioKart, but I didn't really want to be in the house. And thus it was decided that we would go on a bear hunt. What a bear hunt it was!

The higher elevation was gloriously cool, the foliage wonderfully bright and green, the air delightfully fresh and clean. We embarked on a rather wide trail along the eastern slope, one that I've ventured down only a short way previously. Considering the width, it shouldn't have surprised me to find not one, not two, but five vehicles that had tried driving, only to slide off the edge and down various embankments and be abondoned with no hope of retrieval. Mogli was especially excited about this, finding it exceedingly amusing to toss rocks down on top of them. Well, one of them, the rest were too far for his feeble left handed pitches to reach.

After quite a trip for such a small hiker, much more than I expected from him, especially without him begging me to carry him, I finally told him we needed to go back so we didn't get stuck after the sun went to sleep and the wild animals got us. He wasn't impressed. He just kept going and saying "there's a waterfall this way, we have to find it!" Unable to stop him, I dained to follow a while, hoping he really would get tired of the journey and head for home. Imagine my surprise when we came over a rise and heard the sound of running water. This of course encouraged him and he sped forward, eventually reaching a place where the path, quite narrow by now, reached a small stream with several waterfalls. We dipped our sticks in the water and splashed rocks around for a few minutes before turning back at last. The entire way home he continually reminded me that he was right and I was wrong: "I tell you there was a waterfall! You tell me no, but I tell you!"

Now for the true highlight of the trip. Closer to the trailhead, but still far enough to feel quite distant, I heard the last words I ever wanted to hear in such a situation: "I need to go poop." I confess a moment of panic as I searched the surrounding forest in vain for a commode or outhouse of any condition or variety that I knew would not be found. In fact, even were we at the car already it would have been at least twenty minutes to the nearest, and that in the opposite direction from home. I forced myself to be calm and helped him find a spot off the trail where he could heed nature's call. He had been saying all afternoon that he wasn't wearing underwear because Grammy didn't change him out of his pullup after the afternoon nap. I foolishly assumed that meant he was still in said pullup. For a moment I even considered letting him go and dealing with it when we got home, but quickly realized that would make the homeward voyage quite miserable for the both of us, and the pullup likely wouldn't contain the mess so well anyway. Either way it turned out he was being quite literal when he said he wasn't wearing any underwears; he had apparently ditched the pullup sometime between spraying the kitchen floor with furniture polish so the house would smell good and sliding around on the freshly polished floor. To make the occasion a little extra special, we had had chimichangas for dinner. Chimichangas give Mogli diarrhea. No underwears. No toilet. And you guessed it, no toilet paper. I cleaned him up with leaves. Yes, leaves. Some parts of the trail had these great big plants with massive leaves. Enormous, wonderful leaves. This part of the trail had little tiny leaves.

It was one of the worste experiences of my life.

But on the way down the canyon we saw 5 deer!