3/26/15 She Came to the Trailhead

She stopped the car and opened the door. The air was moist and slightly chill but mostly fragrant with the ending of winter and imminent arrival of spring. Her hubcap was leaning, propped against the upside of the hill. She picked it up and tossed it into the back seat then walked around to the other side of the car. The front tire of that side was bare too. The went to the cliffside and looked down into the brambles. Maybe she saw it there, maybe she had lost it miles back–she wasn’t going to descend into a ravine to get it. She got back into her car and continued.

She came to the trailhead some time later.

She parked her car along the forest road and grabbed up her red backpack which contained her water bottle, book, some snacks, and extra clothing in case it rained. Overhead the sun was later in the day than she would have liked–or her mother would have liked because it would probably be getting dark by the time she would make her descent, she thought. Dangerous, to be sure.

With her backpack slung over one arm she closed the car door, then opened it again. She bent in and grabbed her cellphone, unplugging it from the car-charger. It lit up and underneath the lock screen she saw the outline of the astrology app she had opened but not read. Still looking at the screen she closed the car door behind her. She types in her passcode with one hand on her phone, with the other she thumbs her car fob to lock the doors.

On the screen is a symbol of a jar upturned and water spilling out of it–or perhaps it is air. Since she is Aquarius she suspects it is air. A creak of from a tree overhead, the call of a bird. A twinge in her stomach for looking into the screen of her phone now that she had made it to the mountain. She wasn’t a superstitious person in general, no, instead she was highly rational at times. She had a flashlight and her phone with her, she assured her mother–even if she got lost while hiking, she would be able to call someone–and because of this rational she hadn’t bought into the whole religion thing either. It was still a source of tension within the family. But for some reason her horoscope had always appealed, if not for pure guidance, than at least for an interesting looking glass.

She flitted her thumb over the phone and watched text cycling by. It wasn’t a long horoscope, and maybe that was why she read it. Or maybe it was fate, though she didn’t really believe in fate, or that things happened for a reason, or that an internet horoscope could have any validity on her life at all. But still–she leaned back, propping herself on her car and with the fresh air and sounds of creaking forest and chirping birds began read.

3/25/15 Sauk Mountain and Before

At the top of Sauk Mountain she opened her notebook against the breeze. The breeze came from the north which promised good weather. Then she looked to the north and saw, not so far away, the saddle of Mount Baker. And just below her on the other side was Sauk Lake and up here all she could hear was the free wind in her ears and when she breathed out she breathed life and when she breathed in she was brought closer to me.

Sitting on a flat rock the, warmth of the sun not ruined by the breeze, she wished she was in L.A. still, even in this paradise it was not quite for her–fumbled at the zip string of her bag, a red backpack that resembled a tote bag. It was perfect for vagabond trips. From inside she took a pen, nothing special, just a cheap ballpoint, and her notebook which was also nothing special except for the words she would write within it.

On the rock, on Sauk Mountain, in the Cascades, in Washington, in her notebook, she wrote these words. . .

 

Earlier in the day, but after breakfast she got in her small compact Toyota and drove North. She entered I-5 near Mill Creek, a suburb of Seattle. She wore her leggings that were warm but also thin and dried and let her sweat on hikes. She also wore some shorts and a loose sweater which had sleeves that came down to her thumbs and a faded knit pattern near the neck. Also around her neck the wore a bronze chain that had a small circle, a small moon sliced in halves. These halves move independently of each other, but are both guided by the chain. The half moons on this chain are like two sisters being guided like controlling parents. She is one of those sisters.

As she merges into light traffic on I-5 North she takes up her phone and with deft touches selects the camera. She snaps a picture of herself driving. The angle is low and she looked tall and with her hair in pigtails a little like a school teacher–a sexy school teacher and that was alright with her. Then she closed the camera and glancing down, just for an instant, she thumbed the astrology app she used. But then she turned off the phone. She’d read her horoscope later. Though she’d never put much stock in astrology it was still fun to think about.

When she came to Burlington she took a right onto HWY 20 which would take her toward the cascades. Through Sedro-Woolley and later a tiny town called Concrete Washington, she didn’t stop the whole drive. When she came to Sauk Mountain Rd she took it and the trees towered up around the road and the dirt she drove over became potted and with a bang and a smash and nicked of the underside of her car she saw, from the corner of her eye, one hubcap making its escape into the side of the mountain the treacherous road followed.