The Trial of the Trail


Bright green meadows with spots of yellow and red wildflowers, a warm breeze passed through my hair, and I wanted to scream. Every footstep in the soft dirt on the trail rang in my ears. It was loud in this quiet peaceful meadow. I was intruding on a heaven not meant for me. I ran through my supplies over and over again, obsessively; did I bring the bug net? There were supposed to be a lot of bugs this time of year and with so much snow pack there was bound to be still water which meant mosquitoes and diseases. How bad is Lyme Disease? The scent of wildflowers passed by and it reminded me of her but I pushed that feeling down. I returned back to obsessing over the supplies I was sure I forgot.

knife, compass, map, sleeping bag, medicine kit, tent, chap stick! That was it. I forgot the goddamn chap stick. The trip was going to be a disaster. I had reached the top of the trail as it descended down into the valley full of trees and warmth. Meadows stretched out down the path, breaking up the lush green forest surrounding the mountains. The breeze blew again and I saw a lonely hawk ride the thermal down into the valley, descending. I followed him.

I heard a loud pop and froze still. I was told bears would be in the area and with my luck I would get attacked on the first mile of the trail. It would have been easier if she was here, even just so I would not look like such an easy target. Another snap came from the east, through some trees. A large brown beast passed through some bushes and I could not make out its shape. I knew I should have bought that bear spray! It crept closer and suddenly I saw it, a deer poked its head through the bushes. It was smelling the plants and did not seem to notice me. After a couple minutes it finally saw me stopped in the middle of the trail and ran away. Again, I was all alone, truly alone.

*This is a short story that I wrote. It is fiction. I hope you like it. Feedback is not only welcome but appreciated. *

~James Wilder

Categories: backpacking, Short StoryTags: , , , , , , ,

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