Best Place to Pretend You're in Kindergarten

God, the family: wife always bitching, younger brother always hassling you for golf pointers—sometimes you just want to disappear. Go to Vegas for the weekend without telling anybody. That'd be fun. Unless your family freaks the hell out and calls in a missing-person report, spurring a massive manhunt that burns up countless thousands of dollars from the public trough. In such instances, you'd better have a good alibi for where you were, and may I suggest the 3,000-acre Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park? Why, on a recent hike there, I almost killed myself by falling into a water-filled missile silo. I made a harrowing escape, only to plunge into an abandoned mine shaft. Thanks to signage all over the park, I knew these sinkholes were choked with carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases—sometimes they suffocate large game animals—but fortunately, marauding cougars gnawing on my leg woke me up. I beat them off with my Nalgene water bottle, but then the "Fantastic Erratic" glacial boulder rolled over onto my leg and pinned me down. I ate dirt for three days to survive. Get the picture? I suppose if you can't find a plausible reason for vanishing in King County's parks system, you could always say you tripped into a ravine and blacked out for an entire weekend. But nobody would believe that.—John Metcalfe www.metrokc.gov/parks/parks/cougarmountain.html.

 
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