It was a beautiful summer evening. The sunset caused brilliant oranges and reds to cascade across the sky and tinge the puffy clouds with pink and gold before the colors would fade to a rich purple, then the deep blue of night. Far below, majestic mountains stretched their bare and bony fingers up as if to grasp the falling sun and forever keep it hidden within it’s jealously guarded hoards. Yet they knew it was futile, for their brothers to the East would yield up the glowing orb and it would be morning once again. But as the seasons come and go the sun rises and sets and always the rocky ranges would be there. Greedily extending their peaks to steal the sun from the sky.
Accustomed to it’s fate, the massive ball of fire descends, spreading it’s last burst of light and warmth across the little valley that lay nestled between the great heights of snow-speckled stone. Rising up, yet still far below, the trees of evergreen sought to mimic the mountains with their own towering branches. And yet while the mountains were bare, the trees were full of pine foliage. Deep greens were made darker by the elongating shadows. Beneath the boughs, the cool air faintly smells of water, spiced with the intoxicating aroma of crushed needles and churned earth. Thick on the ground were the needles, mixed in the with compost and moist, warm earth to make a springy cushion beneath the feet of many travelers. A path, small and barely seen, yet well worn and used by the fauna, winds it way through the undergrowth like a snake would wind it’s way through stalks of grass. The beginning of the trail would always remain a mystery for no one can find it. Many small game trails, and a few larger trails as well, eventually combine and join this beaten, dusty path as it twists it’s way into the meadow. Continue reading