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9| Chapter 6:
Mountain Trail Part 1: The Bog

The Fallen Tree

At the tross of the hill stands a tree deadened by man. The head decrowned and the roots sturdy in might, the tree bears regally with a rockstack upon its plateau. A pudding stone, deep purple with freckles of quartz embedded as the base; a gray rock for the middle slot, painted with moss by ancients; a spectacled brown and gray granite, garnet in reflection, caps the crown.

I stare down the hill. The suited man beckons. My spine bends under the force of the sprint.

I have splashed down in The Bog. I approach the first river.

I have two options: a rotted log or a set of rocks. All logs rot, but not all rocks are slick with moss; the fallen tree holds steady.

A short uprise to more a mound more than a hill, dotted with boulders; the dirt beds a dry once river. Closer to the center the stream begins to trickle, stopped by the pudding stones.

The Island stands walled. A fallen rockstack of stratified slate shattered into stackable slivers. A firepit full of sticks. Two benches I made I made, I made no I yes I made, shipping wood from overseas. There is no altar here, no Brew in a pinkish-white rind.

The second river offers an isled beach or a flooded rock bridge. My steps are deft, my feet fairies with the glide.

Though the mud is sinkwell, the hill is short and I hurdle the fallen log adorned with crystal conglomorock. I’ve entered the bog of The Bog. The trees have long fallen, their mulch crimson with rot.

The path is a weak S.

The way is a strong §. I prance like gazelle with the grace of mountain lions, rock moss to log to solid Earth.

The first leg.

The second is nature, tree roots to mossless rocks.

The Trans-Board expressway; right to Base Camp, left to The Cemetery. Straight to the foothill.

To stand on the toes of a giant, rather than its shoulders.

The bog dries arid at the helm of the foothill. The wind is still, though the trees dance and the sky chants the low scream of an airliner. A chainsawed log marks Gateway out The Bog.

I stand before Board Mountain’s The Climb, a Quatchfut in hu-man’s clothing.