Land in the Sky: Mountain Passages

I found my solitary way to the summit of a trail-less Catskill peak. It was hunting season, so the collie stayed home.

Though trail-less, the mountain is not without its occasional caller, each one finding his or her own way. They leave their traces—upturned leaves and duff, footprints in the mud, a scrap of paper. The lines they lay down on these forested slopes are entwined with the fading lines of previous visitors, long gone, whose vestiges themselves are entwined with those of others more timeworn still. And so they ensue, these mountain passages.

On the summit was a metal canister fastened to a tree. Inside the canister was a register of sorts. My hands were cold and the pencil was dull. I didn’t know what to write. What’s new? What’s old? Who you with? Who reads this stuff anyway.