Beware of squirrels, spiders, and snakes

I, James and my daughter Joan are really looking forward to our mountain bike riding today. We have been planning this for months now. And today might be the day for it. My daughter recently turned eight, and my wife has always been complaining that I’m not spending enough time with her. Actually, she was right.

Due to work, I don’t have time to check what my daughter is up to. Well months before when I planned this with my daughter, she seemed happy but not thrilled. But now that’s not the case. She is even more energetic and excited about this than me. She has been watching so many videos lately about mountain biking, and I feel so glad that she’s so energetic about this. Somewhere down the line, I feel that this ride will be the one to remember.

Well, yesterday also was quite a day. Joan has been getting ready packing her bags, doing everything so that we can leave for mountain riding as early as possible today. As planned, I got up early in the morning at approximately four o’clock. I woke my daughter. My wife Lily had prepared breakfast for us. We had our breakfast and both of us, father and daughter were off to a fun-filled adventure.

We had rented a small house beside the mountain, so it was very easy and quick for us to reach there. The instructor was waiting for us. He gave us a few guidelines and also the do’s and don’ts of this trip. I tried to listen to him very carefully, but he was boring. While he was talking, he felt like those guy who has been on this for years now and just wanted to retire as fast as possible. Next, that old man gave me a phone.

Yes, a phone which looked ages old. He said to me that if there’s an emergency, then I should call from this phone. No other phone will have signal connectivity over the hill. Well looking at the condition of the phone, I was quite skeptical if the phone will survive until we reach the top of the mountain. The phone felt like a box of cement. Anyway, I kept it in my bag, and we were ready to go!

Joan was the one leading me. She was so glad. The scenery was beautiful. Early morning, on the beautiful summer day, Joan and I were riding on a mountain. What else do we want in life? As I said, Joan was leading me. I had the map in my hand, and I was instructing her in which direction she should go. I followed her and was actually quite enjoying her lead. We rode our bicycles for a while now, and now we thought that it would be great if we take some rest. So we decided to stop by the lake. Lily had packed some extra delicious snacks for us. I grabbed them, and in no time, we were eating the snacks. Joan was restless.

She got up and started roaming her and there gaping at the beauty of nature. She was awestruck to see those small animals roaming here and there. She offered them our food. Yes, she offered it to a squirrel. But to my surprise, in no time dozens of squirrels surrounded us. Squirrels completely covered us. My daughter was afraid, but she tried to remain calm. I told my daughter that these don’t do anything and that we should move on with our journey.

I started making weird noises, and hence all of them ran away. I closed our bags, and we were off on our journey again. I have to say. Things have been pretty smooth so far. Lily was saying yesterday that I cannot take care of our daughter alone. Well, I need to change her perspective about this. Now my daughter was a little bit tired. Maybe because of the extreme sunlight. I’m sure that you can guess. The extreme heat in California during the summer. But my daughter didn’t stop. She was comparatively a bit slow, but yes she was steady.

Now our journey brought us to another hurdle. We had to cross the dense forest. Now the authorities had ensured us that no wild animals would be found here, but yes, they told me that we have been aware of the snakes. More than my daughter, I was terrified of snakes. They gave me nightmares. Well looking at the dense forest, I could feel that there will be many animals over there. But seeing my daughter’s energy and spirit to go in, I couldn’t say no. So yes, we went in. Suddenly, this shiny morning felt like an evening. Since the entire pathway was covered by trees, we were not getting enough sunlight.

But still, things were quite visible to us. That’s when something happened that I’ll never forget my entire lifetime. Since it was a little bit dark, we were cycling very slowly. This dense mountain had dense forests. Now as I was riding my bicycle, I felt like something was crawling on my back. I was terrified. I got down of the bicycle to see what it was.

Thank god! It was just a spider. I’m never afraid of spiders, and so I just picked it up from my back and threw it away. But then my daughter in anguish told me, “Daddy. Look at your shoes.” I saw. There was this huge snake. Maybe I stamped over it when I got down of the bicycle quickly. I really don’t remember what happened next.

I ran like crazy from there, and my daughter was following me on her bicycle. I ran so fast that my daughter who was on her bicycle was behind. Never did I know that I could run so fast! Anyway, I ran so fast that within seconds, we were out of the forest. But here’s the sad part now. I didn’t have my bicycle. I left it behind in the forest. So now my daughter Joan and I had to take some tough decisions. We cannot move forward without my mountain bike. So we decided that we will head back to the forest and get back my bike. It was not that far away. So yes I was walking, and my daughter was driving her bike back to the forest.

We quickly reached the place. Still, that dreaded snake was there. It was strangled over the bike’s wheels. We had to make that snake come out of there somehow. So now my daughter did a wise move. She came in front of the snake and started offering food to that snake. I don’t know how but the snake left the bike’s wheels and came to her. She offered that snake a piece of meat from her bag.

The snake came near her. As soon as the snake came out of the wheels of my mountain bike, I grabbed it and started cycling it at the top of our speed. She also followed me.

Finally, we came out of the jungle again, now with both our bicycles. After all this hassle, we were really tired. It was already afternoon, and hence we decided that we take some rest and along with that have our lunch. Now Lily had packed all the lunch in my bag. She makes some really good food. But when I opened my bag, I got a shock of a lifetime. There was a squirrel inside! Not just one but two! At first, I thought that they were dead but no! They were alive. As soon as I tried to touch them, they suddenly got up and ran away. And what they left us was even more shocking. They ate and ruined all our food. So now we don’t have food.

With no food, we don’t have the energy to drive our cycles anymore. We were now hungry, angry and confused. That’s when my smart daughter Joan reminded me of something. She said that we could probably use the phone provided by the authorities. We could make a call and tell them our condition. They could send us help. I was thrilled and happy to hear that. My daughter was growing to be a smart and wise human being. So as she told me, I called the authorities. As expected an old man picked up our phone call.

Hearing his voice, I could say that he was no less than seventy years old. I told him the entire story. To my surprise, he started laughing. When I told him to stop laughing and help us, he just kept the phone aside and started telling the same story to everyone inside the room. I could hear a bunch of old people laughing. I was really mad at the service they were providing.

I just cut the phone. I realized that we are on our own now. Now we got up. I told my daughter the whole thing, and to my surprise, she also started laughing. Well, I didn’t want to ruin this happy moment. After all this drama, even though we were tired we decided to move on. It was three in the afternoon. Sun was at its highest form.

We looked at the map and realized that after a little bit more of cycling, we would reach a small restaurant. It was marked in the map. So we both decided that we will take all our energy and go to that restaurant. So we started cycling again through this lush green beautiful mountain. We were riding very slowly as we had to conserve our power. We only had breakfast, and in this extreme heat, we can get dehydrated very easily.

So we cycled and finally reached that restaurant. That restaurant looked great, and we ate so much over there that we couldn’t even move. Our bellies were full and also our energy. Up until now, things have been a little bit dicey for us, but still, it was one to remember. There was a long way to go, and with full energy and enthusiasm, we again started our journey. It was almost four, and still, we were way behind as planned. So we boosted and were going as fast as we can. We were trying to catch up with time. But since we were cycling since morning, our legs started paining really bad. We had to reach the final destination before sunset or else things will be way worse than expected. We only had approximately two hours in hand.

Now we reached a small hut like place. It was actually the place where people rest after the long ride. We also decided that we can rest now as we were very tired from driving our bikes so fast. Sitting over there I fell asleep.

When I woke up and opened my eyes, there was a cute little puppy with my daughter. My daughter wanted to take it home, and I just couldn’t say no to her. So yeah, we decided to take the puppy with us. She kept him in her cycle in the front carriage. We continued our journey with the puppy. I have to say, and the puppy brought a new life to our journey. We finally reached our destination. After all, we had gone through, it was surely worth it. The sunset from the mountain was one moment I’ll cherish my entire lifetime.

We finally came back home with the puppy. Lily was really happy to see us. She was also delighted to see the puppy. At dinner, Joan told Lily everything that we went through. My wife was thrilled to hear it and promised us that she will join us for our next adventure. But this one will remain in my heart for long. Who knows where we are going next? But I’m really looking forward to it!

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