Drove far past where the roads turned to gravel, then dirt. Â Parked by a tall tree with bright leaves, flanked by a twisted spruce with dead red needles. Â Put one mountain peak at my back, a beckoning finger raised, and mark another in the distance. Â A sheer rock face at the end of a curving ridge, like soup pouring over the edge of a spoon.
(I’m already thinking of food.)
It takes me the rest of the day to reach the foot of the mountain face. Â Had to cross one small stream, trying to forget about it. Â Any foreknowledge of the area is against the rules.
I gather some wood, start a small fire (the easy way) and get some water boiling in a metal pot. Â Some goes in a foil pouch labelled “Chicken Enchillada”, the rest gets mixed with hot chocolate powder. Â I savor the taste of spice and sweet, eating and drinking at a pace to hold the memories on my tongue. Â I sleep in a tunnel of blue nylon held up by army surplus paracord. Â Tonight I am warm, dry, and full.
I don’t sleep.
(To be continued…)