Jawbone Flats

Day 5 – “E” Evergreen

Three miles in.
Miles of evergreen, pine,
cedar, fern, and mist.

Breathing in fresh mountain air,
lungs filling with cool moisture.
The fresh scent a medication for the soul.

Ground squirrels scurry across the path,
down a earth tunnel to their nest.
A bird calls out to her mate.

The sound of those birds, the only proof of life.
Proof of the solitude.

The old mine shaft on the left –
to the right a steep drop to the snow-melt river.
Rusty metal tracks lead into the mines.

A world of darkness and snares.
The icy air hits me full blast as I stare in,
terrified to venture further.

Deeper we wander, begin to see signs of a life
lived a century ago.
An abandoned miner’s cabin, a barn,
rusting farm equipment, a plow, a yoke.

Through the trees the cabins appear –
ghost town.
Scattered, they dot the clearing.
Abandoned and alone, the inhabitants are gone.
Alone but for the trees and the wildlife.
Peaceful. Enchanting.

Over a foot bridge, worn with age.
Deep, clear, so cold.
Therapeutically cold.
Ten, twenty feet deep.
Smooth stones sanded with time,
the mossy rocks creating a protective wall.
Protecting the pureness, the tranquility.

Hidden from sight, the town sleeps.



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