Ever since getting a chance to milk the goats at the Moeckel’s farm, RobinHood has been set on becoming a goat farmer (Mama Bear is on board as she’s wanted goats for a while now). Never long on patience, he has not been content to wait for his return; so instead, when the mood strikes him, he sets out trying to get his sister’s goat. He’s been quite successful of late. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and you siblings closest of all (for you never know which they will be).
But nature has a way of returning to equilibrium, so as the parents chime in to reprimand the rogue behavior, and try to get the kids to act civilized (at least by the trail’s wild standard), the kids suddenly have a common enemy. They band together to jointly go after their parents’ goats, the kids once again bosom buddies. And so it goes.
We’d been lolly gagging for most of the day, avoiding the heat and swimming in mountain lakes, taking to heart the words of Robert Service:
There’s sunshine in the heart of me,
My blood sings in the breeze;
The mountains are a part of me,
I’m fellow to the trees.
My golden youth I’m squandering,
Sun-libertine am I;
Until the day I die.
By the afternoon, the parents were ready to make some miles. The kids had different ideas. Mama Bear finally decided that if the kids could make the 5.3 miles to the next shelter in under two hours, they could listen to their audio books until we reached the campsite. This seemed to do little in the way of motivating them, instead leading them to try to barter with any number of alternatives that would allow them to listen to their books without increasing their pace. Then, when they finally came to accept that their parents weren’t buying it (we were dead set on keeping our goats for the day), the kids turned on the speed.
So with a mere thirty-five minutes left, and a full two miles to go, they took off jogging down the trail. Thirty three minutes later they reached the shelter with two minutes to spare (all he while refusing to go “the easy way”) and earned the right to listen to their audiobooks.
Cartwheel had basically given up on The Little Princess, deciding it was too sad for her. But at Mama Bear’s urging, she gave it a try, and by sunset was smiling along to the happy ending.
We survived what has certainly been the scariest part of the trip so far: crossing the Palisades Parkway, and were treated to views of the city skyline. We even camped for the night with views of the city lights in the distance. A late evening, but a satisfying one.