He has been hiking for about two hours, going up and up, his breath is starting to get heavy, sweat trickling from his forehead and down his back. He decides that it’s time for a break before turning around and heading back down to the parking lot. He looks around for a good spot to sit down for a while and spots a small rocky outcropping, a sort of overlook. He leaves the trail and scrambles up the rocks. Finding a nice and even spot he sits down and takes in the view. In front of him the valley spreads out and gets wider. Beyond he can make out the sparkle of the Salish Sea, dotted with wooded little islands, like green gems floating. Looking straight down he can make out his old truck in the parking lot below, it looks like a children’s toy from up here. He finds himself a little hungry and rummages through his small knapsack he carried up on his back. He weighs his limited options of a stale granola bar or a lightly bruised apple and opts instead for a good long swig of water from his silver bottle. He relaxes, happily humming a tune to himself, enjoying this peaceful moment. Other than his quiet humming there is not a sound to be heard. But wait, there is some rustling somewhere behind him, the cracking of a twig. Instantly he becomes aware of another presence! A shiver of excitement rolls down his back as he whispers “Bigfoot”, followed by a giggle for his own silliness. He loves all the Bigfoot lures, but knows that there is no chance to spot the elusive creature on these islands. Another crack, this one real close. Holding his breath he slowly turns around. A beautiful doe steps out of the shadows onto the trail. She stops, her soft brown eyes fixed on him. They contemplate each other for a few seconds. She stretches her neck his way, sniffs the air a couple of times and then snorts. He quietly laughs, “don’t like my aftershave, eh?”. The doe starts moving and slowly meanders on up the trail out of his sight. He turns back to the view, content with the world.



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