Okay, why is Doc facing away from Mark and Cherry?

Ah, family road trips:  Are they not the invention of a sadistic, satanic entity that might show up in one of Rusty’s stories? I grew up in Virginia and one day back in 1965, as I was just starting high school, Dad came home and said that the government was sending him to California for some technical training that would last at least 3 months. And it started in two weeks. So Mom and Dad took us six kids, a dog, and a few suitcases, stuffed everything in the family Ford wagon (no AC!), and drove all the way to Los Angeles in 4 days. And only Dad knew how to drive! It must have been hell for him.  But we made it. Heck, I almost got ulcers driving three of our boys from Minnesota to Virginia!

I recall that we hit a dog one night on an unlit road some place in Texas. Just over the California state line we passed by state cops investigating a dead body on the side of the road.  One time I got to sit on my Dad’s lap so I could “steer” down the highway. Nobody had seat belts then. Mom was not happy.

As for panel 1, maybe Doc has a focus problem. Or maybe he’s warning us readers to be careful.

Great Expectations?

What the dickens!? I’d have thought one reference to the modern version of ghost stories would get the point across. But it looks like we’re going to hear more. The suspense is gripping.

Don’t confuse Rusty’s character with the recent “Thomas the Tank Engine” fan video also called “The Seaside Spectre”. Or the 1912 movie “Specter of the Sea”.  Let’s hope that daytime comes really fast.

Weakly Trail

Wrapping up a few loose ends, like Cherry’s mom…

Rusty’s School assignments…

and whether Mark is now among “Florida’s most wanted…”

Not to mention that Strong Black Coffee still solves most problems, although now served out of a Mr. Coffee carafe, into substantial mugs, not the old style Commercial Bunn Globe into cups and saucers…

Ronan Farrow? The spawn of Woody and Mia, who outed Harvey Weinstein? I fear that’s a reference, and a bridge, a bit too far… But Mark sure looks like he is back in the saddle, complete with branded merch…

Family Feud

Time to wrap this up, kids…

What? I thought there was just one “Fist of Justice!

Waaa, waaa, waaa, waaaaaaaaaa….. With violence clearly established as a plot device, we go for laughs any way we can… Will Mark wear the cross-hatches indefinitely? Will Cherry’s shiner ever recede? Will there soon become a “BikBok” outlet for family struggles and other poor behavior? Stay tuned for the next installment of “Mark Trail, Eco-pugilist…”

Opossum we will go…

Forgive the gap, Campers, these weeks get away from your (sometimes) faithful scribe… Let’s start with the Sunday educational moment (And yes, the Opossums earlier were a tip-off…)

Prehensile Tail, huh? “Capable of Grasping.” Have to admit I have heard the word but wasn’t sure what it meant…

So, while I wasn’t “playing Opossum” with this blog, I do find it easier to take in chunks… so here we go!

Mr. Trail, tear down that wall! Well, I guess all’s well now, despite the toxic algae build up?

Oh, Rusty, there you are, in all your glory! Teenager making with the mischief on the Social Media… And Rusty must be home-schooled, since I am sure that Lord of the Flies has been put on the ‘do not read’ list…

Interesting! When we were first introduced to Marcus Happy Trail III, we saw the lineage… and as far as we knew, he descended from biology, not adoption. Looks more like cloning, but what the heck. But the fact that the young Marcus looks more like the original Rusty than the latter day rusty looks like the original Rusty, this just has me confused… help!

I thought the “SNAP” was already on Rusty’s hoodie! But no, he just broke the head off from the mount. Happy not so happy about the Boat! Final frame, cue laugh track… and scene

Well Campers…

…time to get back at it.

The foreshadowing of the insects on the windshield… should have seen that coming…

…as more than the prodigal return…

Clearly Happy and Mark have not been in touch for a while… as Happy’s greatest fear- a grandson- makes itself known…

But onto the lesson, and I was wrong- it’s not about owls:

By the time we are done here, we will know more about Florida than we probably all care to know! But hang on, kids, we are about to witness a flashback

Mark, as a youth, getting the heck outa Dodge? Haunted by one’s past! Can’t be much fun!

Prodigal?

With Foxy Lady checking in on Mark’s progress, and strangely no mention of the boat-splosions that were no doubt all over the social media, Mark gets back to what? Work?

Have to admit I have never seen a green wood-sided station wagon…

Like I said, the story of the prodigal son (and I’m not scholar, I assure you) has to do with competition between sons for their father’s affections- one staying home and doing his duty, the other (prodigal) going off in the world to sow his oats, only to return, where his arrival is greeted with great joy, fatted calf, etc… Is there another son? Mark’s Brother that we haven’t met?

OK, now this is getting all meta… The ‘Mark Trail’ we knew and loved is now ‘Happy Trail’ and his son (with Cherry, Andy, Rusty and Doc) is now Mark Trail? Is this an episode of “Lost?”

You’re confused??

How about your faithful fanbase? Or what’s left of it??

Mark, you are a little bit underdressed for the casino, aren’t you? But then dress codes aren’t what they used to be… Seems like Mark and Cherry have been keeping quite a bit from each other…

Recall $20,000 is the cost of the inpatient treatment that Cherry’s mom needs to get her Borderline Personality Disorder sorted… At least Rusty has company now! Never swim alone!

Mark if you are thinking of your father, then I think you better think again… Unless there is another character to introduce in this unwieldy plot line…

And, OH! I missed the Sunday Lesson: Owls!

Teaser in the Tree

The cicada… more Florida Fauna. I guess the plan is to go deep wherever we happen to find ourselves…

Return to Rusty… the gangly youth. And the return of Mark, still no authorities in tow…

And as we might have expected, Mark is now the darling of the inter-webs… His dream of picking up followers growing nigh.

Haha, young man. bShow a little respect, you know? or not… What’s with the Owls? Is the Owl Inn?

Daddy Issues

Well, Mark’s escapades are all over social media, and now he’s dealing with the realization that he comes from sinister stock…

Hahaha, Kelly… “Trail of Destruction…” I guess this isn’t the first time Mark has gone on a rampage. Why does Kelly look like a zombie, though? With only the whites of her eyes showing in the first panel? The last panel is stirring. Very dark, very brooding.

I will say this about Kelly- with her angular features and long-in-the-jaw profile, she not the siren of old. She looks more like someone you’d want on your side in a scuffle.

Well, there you have it… Mark, this is your story, no one else’s. Now if we can only follow along without getting lost!