Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sight-Seeing in the Bluegrass: Part 3

The last you’ll (probably) hear about my week with The Visitor

On a crisp and sunny Friday, we rode a lift up to the panoramic views of the Natural Bridge on the edge of Eastern Kentucky. Our aim was twofold: to show our Visitor some different terrain during her stay, and to spread some of my father’s ashes there as he’d requested.

There are laws prohibiting what my husband and I planned to do, plus it was gusty atop the rock. So we had to choose a sequestered spot where no one would see us or be disturbed by us (i.e., get “sprayed” by bits o’ Dad). Our Visitor, long divorced from my father, chose to wait for us in a clump of trees where she felt protected from the wind.

When we finished our mission, we rejoined our Visitor, who told us lots of folks kept trying to get her to sit in a nearby shelter where she’d be warmer. Worried what people would think of her standing in one place for so long, The Visitor finally spilled the beans to the next person who approached her: The Park Ranger.

Yes, The Visitor chose to expose our illegal activity to the one person with the authority to punish us. Yes, unbelievably, my own mother gave us up.

“I told him exactly what you were doing and he thought it was a beautiful idea!”

“Mother! It was illegal. We didn’t want anyone to know!”

“I know,” said The Visitor. “That’s why you have to be careful who you tell.”

“Exactly.” WTF? “He’s probably waiting for us at the end of the trail.”

“No, no, no. He thought it was beautiful,” The Visitor reassured us.

“Right. And now he can hardly wait to arrest us—at the end of the trail.”

My husband chimed in at this point, warning The Visitor, “Don’t be surprised if we pretend not to know you.”

We followed the trail to another scenic view, offering small talk to passing hikers along the way but not mentioning “the incident” again. As the trail opened onto another massive rock and aerial view of mountains and valleys, there before us were not one, but TWO PARK RANGERS.

There was no escape. I had no choice.

“We don’t know you,” I whispered to The Visitor.

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