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Adventures on the Way to Church

It turns out that going to church near a national forest can be more adventuresome than one might expect. We knew we were going to have to drive forty minutes to get there. We also knew that the congregation itself is a seasonal one, run by locals and attended by people like us who were vacationing in the area. The kids were quite enamored of the fact that many folks attend in blue jeans and camp clothes rather than the usual Sunday clothing. So we set off with some verbal instructions, half expecting to get a little lost on the way.

We did not expect the stowaway Chipmunk.

Kiki saw him first and gasped. The rest of us tried to figure out what was wrong with her and all she could do was point out the windshield. Then we all saw him. He popped out of the crack between the hood and the windshield. He ran across the top of the hood. He dove back into the crack, obviously trying to find a way off of this crazy fast-moving contraption. My brother-in-law, who was driving, did a marvelous job of not crashing the car while distracted by chipmunk.

The little guy must have climbed into the engine while the car was parked outside the cabin. Then when the engine heated up, he emerged where we could see him. We found a safe place to stop on the little mountain road. There was some debate over whether it was possible to return him home, but trying to catch a chipmunk in a car engine seemed likely doomed to failure. He hid the moment we opened the hood.

Then he scampered down into the engine. Moments later we saw him dashing for the trees at the side of the road. Hopefully he likes his new home.

But that was not all. There were also sheep.

We sat for a good five minutes while a huge flock was herded around us and off down the road. It was fascinating. When we opened the windows for a better look, several of the sheep stopped and stared at us as if they expected food to materialize from the open windows. The kids were delighted to discover that sheep would baa back if they made the sound first.

We did eventually get to church and the meeting was lovely. For the rest of the weekend we were on the watch for stowaway chipmunks, but he was the only one. Which is probably best as we didn’t really sign up to be a chipmunk relocation service.

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