Back in the Summer of 2008 my family took a vacation out west, not all the way out west, but further in that direction than I have ever been. We were gone for two weeks, seeing as many points of interest along our route as we could. We stopped in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where a fake gunfight broke out in the city square just before sunset, and although it was all for show, even then my fear of loud noises kept prevailed and had me cowering behind a t-shirt rack in the gift shop with my fingers in my ears, wondering how much longer it could go on. We saw the grand Tetons with snow covered caps in the middle of the summer and stopped at a rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We stayed at a ski lodge in Big Sky, Montana with a hot tub on the back porch overlooking the abandoned slope of the mountain that would be covered with skiers come Winter. We spent several days at Yellowstone National Park, enjoying all the wonderful sights that mother nature had to offer, including a bear wandering across the road at one point, and the legendary geyser “Old Faithful” that erupted at the time everyone knew it would, living up to its name.
On the way home we drove through the Badlands and stopped to see Mount Rushmore, where I posed for a picture that looked like I was picking the nose of one of the esteemed presidents. I’m really mature, I know. It was a fantastic vacation, one that I will cherish for as long as I have my memories, but there was one negative aspect of the trip, and that came on day three of our two week journey. We had left Jackson Hole and were on the road headed to our next stop. The road was winding, going up, up into a mountain and at one point we reached a high enough altitude that we saw snow on the side of the road. Keep in mind that everyone on this trip was from Arkansas where it snowed maybe once a year in the winter, so it was pretty cool to see it sitting on the ground in the middle of the summer. Naturally we had to get out and take a picture, so all three cars in our caravan pulled to the side of the road and eight adults followed by nine children scrambled out of the vehicles to look at the snow.
Being the excitable and antagonizing older brother that I was, I mischievously ran towards the snow intent on making a snowball to hit one of my younger brother’s with, probably Logan, but thinking back I can’t say that with certainty. I don’t know that I believe much in karma anymore, but on that day there is no doubt in my mind that the Universe knew what I was about to do and wanted to stop me before I did it, so as I reached the snow, mother nature pulled the metaphorical rug out from under me and caused me to fall in the snow that was merely resting atop a thick layer of mud, which much to the amusement of everyone but the driver of my car, covered me almost completely on one side of my body. We snapped a picture of me looking like an idiot, and then I rode the rest of that leg of the trip sitting uncomfortably on a garbage bag to prevent me from dirtying up the car’s seat. If you take anything away from this story, let it be this. If you’re going to be a jerk and hit your siblings with a snowball, make sure you stop running before you reach the snow to make sure that you actually get to follow through with your devious plan.