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"Backcountry therapy, my ass," Bebe said "It’s a death ht they were supposed to stop in winter"

"Only when the snow comes, my dear It’s late this year Poor us God, it’s hot for Deceh" Bebe checked her canteen "I can’t tell how ave us just one dinky water canteen, a Baggie of trail mix, and an apple

"So we’ll sweat off our fat," Martha explained

"No, darling, because suffering builds character," Bebe said "If we’re really hungry we’re supposed to forage for food or so a poisonous et one of the ic kind," Bebe replied

"Guys, it’s the desert," I said "They don’t have mushrooross," Bebe huffed

"Hey, you three," said Missy She was a super-devoted Red Rocker who’d advanced to Level Four in practically a week "Sheriff says to pick up the pace and stop the chatting"

"Yes ma’am," Bebe said, full of sarcasm

Missy returned to the front of the pack and Bebe shook her head "Stockholet it They coet out of here," I said

"Maybe it starts that way, but they start to enjoy it They even like these dao?" Bebe asked

Bebe continued to bitch her way up and down the h hours on a Stairmaster to handle it So could I In Portland, I rode my old Schwinn cruiser around town Plus, back in the day, I used to go hiking with Moh Forest Park Stepmonster, of course, preferred to spend weekends at the mall I secretly enjoyed the death march, in part because I kne much she would have hated it

Martha, on the other hand, had a tough tih her wheezes "I’onna make it"

"You always say that, dear, and you always make it," Bebe said

"Just one foot in front of the other," I encouraged her


"Don’t think about that Look at the scenery," I said It was pretty otherworldly--with red rock, red clay, and weird coffin-shaped boulders jutting out everywhere It looked like Mars

"I don’t want to look at the scenery," Martha moaned "I don’t want to be here at all I want to be back hoh a nice park to have a picnic"

"Picnic Fab idea What are we having?" Bebe asked


"What’s on the ain

Martha fell silent for a while, but then she piped up: "My mom’s chicken-salad sandwiches They’re the best Not too lad to distract her

"My mom makes these twice-baked potatoes with cheese and sour cream They’re supposed to be eaten hot, but they taste even better cold Then we’ll have some cut-up carrots and celery to be healthy And watermelon And ice-cold lemonade The homemade kind, not the powdery stuff"

"What about dessert?" I asked

Martha pondered that for a second "Can we have two choices?"