An Ode to Dysfunctionality

     MF and I had just wanted to take a hike through the woods...but of course, that's too easy.

     MF had planned to pick me up to go hiking today around 9:09 she texts me that she'll be a little late (which was fine with me as I was just starting to toast my bagel). A couple minutes later she texts me that her mom took her car so now she has the foul-smelling van with the broken air conditioning...and asks if I can drive. I had already Google mapped the place and saw that it was an hour and twenty eight minutes away and required driving on I-81...I was a little confused as to why we were going this far away to hike but decided not to question it. I told MF to stay at her house and I'd pick her up because she was on the way and then sent her a screen shot of the which she said that that was definitely not the place we were going. After much confusion I found the correct place and told MF to just drive to my house.
     MF shows up to my house and so I walk out the door and then I realize I forgot my keys so I go back inside and when I come out MF is peering into my car looking for me and then looking around all confused...then I explain that I went inside to get my keys and we both laugh at how dysfunctional we are and get in the car and MF shows me her Kool Aid stains on her shirt and we start driving to the hiking place (which was only half an hour away and did not involve any highway driving). We made it to Catoctin Mountain Park and then Siri tried to make us go down a restricted road that would've given us a fine so then we just had to shut her off and drive around looking for signs that said "Wolf Rock". We didn't see any signs and the road ended, so we pulled into the Visitor's Center and asked for directions (like mature adults!) and the park ranger dude highlighted a map for us and it turned out that the trail started right behind the Visitor's Center parking lot so we went back outside, got our backpacks out of the car, and walked to the trail head...except that there was not one but two trail heads for Wolf Rock. So we're standing there, debating which way we should go, looking generally confused and lost when this outdoorsy-looking fellow in his late-20s/early-30s with his outdoorsy-looking dog recognizes our struggle and asks us where we're headed. We tell him Wolf Rock and he says that we can go either way, one is just slightly less steep than the other, but they're both easy in his opinion (of course). So MF and I thank him and pick the "easier" route, which started with a straight uphill ascent. We were out of breath in less than a minute and sweating shortly thereafter. It was pathetic. And hilarious. Of course, every uphill has a downhill (or at least a flat patch...) so after a while we were on level ground and were able to have a conversation that didn't involve panting.
     About twenty minutes in, we realized that the outdoorsy guy was not too far behind us and slowly gaining on us so we had to keep walking faster if we didn't want it to get awkward but we didn't have the energy for that so MF wisely suggested a water break and while we stopped to drink the guy and his dog passed us and they were out of sight within a minute. We started hiking again and right before Wolf Rock we ran into the guy again who warned us that there might be rattle snakes up there. Of course. Luckily there weren't any (at least that we could see) so we hung out on the rocks for a while, just long enough to stop sweating before we started walking again and with that came the sweat. We kept walking until we reached Chimney Rock, where we OF COURSE ran into outdoorsy dog guy who gave us the all-clear on the rattle snake situation. Wolf Rock didn't have much of a view but Chimney Rock definitely did. You could see the whole mountainside, which was just a bunch of trees but that's home. So. It was pretty.
     MF and I sat on the rocks and watched the vulture that was a stone's throw away for a while before hiking back down. We thought that it was only a mile back down to the Visitor's Center but it turned out that it was a mile down to the road...and another mile to the Visitor's Center. I wish someone could've recorded the expressions on our faces when we saw the sign that said "Visitor's Center 1.1" with an arrow pointing back into the woods. By then, we had accepted that dysfunctionality was our M.O. for the day and just kept on trudging after a minute of "I can't believe that we have to walk another mile. There had better not be any uphills" (there were, of course). Finally, we got back to the car and had an uneventful ride out of the park.
     We decided to stop at the high school to fill out forms for reimbursing AP money and as we were driving there we passed buses full of kids heading home from orientation and MF and I both started groaning internally at the memory of it and then as we were passing over the railroad tracks we passed some kids who graduated with us whom we didn't particularly want to see again and groaned again and then MF and I both started dreading walking in that school the closer we got to it and as we parked and trudged up the steps, all sweaty and smelly, we were both hoping and praying not to run into any of our teachers or classmates. We luckily only ran into one classmate and my Latin teacher and escaped unscathed (and hopefully with some money coming back to us in a few weeks). I've said it a million times but I'll say it once again: my high school days are over and every time I go back I am reminded of how much I no longer fit in there and how much I don't want to fit in there anymore.
     After dysfunctional (notice that you can't spell "dysfunctional" without "fun") hiking, I drove over to babysit the foster baby of some friends of ours who go to our church. My mom was already there babysitting but I love babies so I wanted to be there too. He is the cutest, sweetest baby ever. My mom and I took turns holding and snuggling him (although I let her feed him and change him). I really hope he finds an amazing "forever family" that's just as good as his foster family, although I can't imagine anyone loving him more than they love him. I've always wondered if it's hard for people who foster and adopt to love their adopted/fostered children as much as their own children, but holding baby Michael I couldn't imagine how anyone could not love him as their own. Maybe one day I'll foster babies...although I don't think I could give the baby up, so I'd probably wind up adopting it...
     After babysitting, we drove home and then TJ, my mom, and I drove in my car to pick up my mom's car from the shop and it was strange to ride in the back of my car when I'm usually in the driver's seat. Can't say I really enjoyed it. Sorry to everyone who's ever had to ride in the back of my car. Once my mom got her car, my brother got in the driver's seat of my car and I climbed into the passenger's seat. I like the passenger's seat. But it was also kind of weird to be riding in my car, listening to my hand-picked playlist of my favorite songs while my brother drove the car. It's also weird that it used to be his car...Not anymore, hehe. Cars are similar to babies...they become yours based on how much time and love and care you put into them. And once they're yours you can't imagine them being anyone else's.
     And that's my deep insight for the day.

Day 999 Song Recommendation: "Cursed" by Lord Huron.
-SE Wagner


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