“It’s going to be a frigid night tonight,” Dave said. “We really need to find a place to hold up in until this cold weather passes if we don’t want to wake up dead.”
Annie had to laugh. “Dad,” she said, “you can’t wake up dead. If you wake up, you’re not dead. And if you’re dead, you won’t wake up.”
“Aren’t you a smarty?” Dave smiled at his daughter, but the smile belied his concern. It was April. Usually the temperatures at this time of year were still cool, but tolerable, even up here in the hills. But this year, at their annual father-daughter camping trip, it was unusually cold. He knew that with this sudden drop in temperatures, it could be dangerously cold.
One option was to start back to where they’d parked the car, but there was no way to make it there by nightfall. So the only other choice was to find a protected site and hunker down for the night.
“Grab your pack and let’s see if we can find a place that’s protected from the wind,” he said. “We’ve only got a few hours of daylight, so let’s get a move on.”
Dave could see that Annie was starting to get tired, cold, and maybe a little scared. “When I was in college,” he said, “we used to sing a silly drinking song. You’d start out singing ‘99 bottles of beer on the wall, take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.’ You keep singing those versus until you get to no bottles of beer on the wall. Of course, we’d never get to zero because we’d all be too drunk before then.”
Annie looked at her father and said, “we don’t have any beer, Dad.”
“No, honey, we don’t,” he said. “So we can pretend and count how many bottles we go through until we find a place to camp out for the night. So while we’re singing and walking, keep your eyes peeled, okay?”
They were at 42 mythical bottles left on the wall when Annie squealed. “Look, Dad. Look at that pointy hill over there. There’s a cave in it.”
“I see it,” Dave said. “Let’s head over and see if we can climb up into it and get out of the wind and cold. “I’ll get a fire going, we can eat our sandwiches, and be nice and toasty for the night.”
Annie smiled. “And we won’t wake up dead, right?”