In this scene I am carefully navigating a rocky off-road mountain trail. Well, that statement is mostly true. I am carefully navigating. The “rocky off-road mountain trail” part is where the truth gets stretched a bit. It started as an effort to go out and do what rough and tough Jeep drivers do best. It ended with a single Facebook comment that all but shut down the man-parade.
I was visiting some friends in upstate New York one weekend. It was Saturday afternoon and everyone had some personal business to do before we would get together that evening. With a few hours on my hands, I hopped in the Jeep and headed to the only place nearby where one could even pretend to go off-road.
A few miles up the way was an old vacation community situated on the side of a small mountain. It's a quiet neighborhood of cottages that were used decades ago by city folk as upstate summer vacation homes. Today, most of the cottages are either abandoned or converted to year-round living. There's one long main road up the mountain and a network of trails that shoot off to the left and right as you climb. The trails range in quality from paved to rocky, with the ones at the top being the least maintained and best suited for some bumpy rides in a Jeep. “Here's where I'll have a little fun”, I thought.
And fun it was! I found the roughest of trails near the top, shifted into four wheel drive and had at it. The toughest section is actually a seldom used connector between two other main trails. That's where I snapped the picture. It looks like I'm deep in the woods, crawling the rocks, but I'm actually just about a hundred yards from the next cottage. But what a great shot to post on Facebook to impress my friends! So I posted.
I checked Facebook a little later and saw that a friend posted a reply. He said it was “Cool!” A short time later and another friend left more ego-boosting praise. I was feeling good. Then someone noticed the Jeep hood and asked about the kind of tires I have. This was great. I had a fun time on a bunny trail, posted a cool picture, and was getting all kinds of attention for my mad driving skills. How could this get any better!?
The answer soon came in the very next post. Everyone has this Facebook friend. It was none other than mom. Mom saw my picture. She must have read the posts from all my friends who thought I was cool and daring, and that wanted to know what kind of knobby tires I was riding on that would let me traverse such devilish terrain. Surely she could see the trend and be so kind as to add to it with some made up story about her backwoods offspring that chewed through the bars of his crib as a baby because he was already too wild to be confined!