Tara, my hiking buddy, brought three of her kids along on the hike. The little fella’s snow pants kept causing him trouble. This kept the hiking pace at a reasonable rate for this old fella.
The higher we climbed the hotter I got.
I tried to offer some levity to the hike.
“Do you know how you can identify bear scat?” I asked.
“You see lots of berries in it,” was the response.
“No, you look for crap filled with tiny pieces of bells, bugles, pots and pans,” I responded. Yuk, yuk.
The view from the summit was gorgeous and even though I was in full key-lost-worry-mode, I couldn’t help from enjoying the view and from taking photographs.
I hiked at the back of the line with the little fella who was always adjusting his pants. We had a lively conversation as I poked and prodded the snow with my ski pole trying to find my keys. “Here keys. Here keys. Here, boy.”
I stopped and yelled at the hikers that I had to go back up and get my shirt. You see I was afraid that my keys were bunkered down in a pocket that I hadn’t known existed.
As they hiked down the trail I heard the children shouting, “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas.”
I was alone with no keys and no shirt.
I found my shirt near the top. On the way down the mountain, the sun too quickly slipped towards its nightly resting place as I poked every dark spot I saw in the snow. No keys.
Then I phoned my hiking buddy and told her I’d found the keys.
She laughed. “We know. We’re right behind you.”
She told me she’d been worried about me, so they’d driven around and then came back to see if my truck was still there.
We chewed the fat for a few more minutes and then she drove away while three separate voices shouted from the car interior, “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas.”