by Ana Banana Benepe
Well, a few people have told Momma that she's a risk taker, and she just doesn't believe them.
It all started when Momma gave me a break and decided not to ride her addict bike.
So on a gorgeous sunny day in late September we hopped in the Big Dog and People Wagon, and drove up the Palisades.
When I saw that she was going past the exit to Piermont, then past Nyack, I started to get excited: where were we going?
It was only my second visit to Bear Mountain. But this time she took a different road.
Momma said she had been here before--in the snow.
That should have been the tip off.
It was the perfect hike: nice sunlight coming through the trees, green moss covering the trail.
No one to be seen for miles.
But after about 20 minutes the trail turned into a massive bed of rocks--even on my little paws it was hard to walk. Momma kept slipping too.
So she veered off the trail to the left-- to find the trail split she thought she missed. At first it was fun, walking through the tall grass.
But then the tall grass turned into big plants. And then it turned into even bigger plants. Momma fell. I couldn't even get my little paws through, and she had to pick me up.
Momma started to sweat, her glasses steamed up. Everywhere we turned was thick-rooted undergrowth, that reached well above her head. Under the plants were big holes that suddenly swallowed up her feet: or big logs that were hidden by leaves and plants. And she kept falling.
We couldn't go back, and we couldn't go forward. We were lost.
And the sun was going down.
Holding me on her shoulder, momma hacked through the bushes with her big legs. She fell, got up, fell.
It must have taken us 10 minutes just to get 50 feet. Momma was cursing: I got worried. She headed for big rocks, then more big rocks, following her nose like the dog she really is.
I know what she was thinking--how were we going to sleep in the woods all night. We had no water: we had no coats. The temperature was going down. Maybe we would freeze. That's besides the bears that bear mountain is named for. (Momma said she's seen three of them together before.)
After almost an hour, we found a path. Fifteen minutes later (not sure if those were dog minutes or people minutes) we came across two hikers, (one Russian the other Croatian); who told us the end of the path was another 3 miles away.
We ran/ walked the three miles, and ended up---on the road---one and a half miles from the car!
Momma put her hand out to hitchhike, but I guess because she was covered in dirt, and looked like a Bear Mountain Bum, despite my infinite cuteness, no-one wanted us in their car. They sped by going 60 miles an hour on a 35 MPH road.
When we got back to the car, I let out a doggie sigh of relief.
Thanks for taking me hiking, ma!