The path never taken

Katie Klingsporn

Between the shade cast by pine trees crowding these banks and the mist thrown from the tumbling mountain stream, it feels about 10 degrees cooler down here. A flat bench of rock invites me to sit down and watch the tumbling creek, which roars and rushes through the skinny gulch, its outward ferocity nearly masking the slow and meticulous work it’s also performing: carving out stone and earth. Icy bits of froth catch light in patches of sun, downed trees scatter like spilled toothpicks across the water and birdsong echoes through the forest. I can no longer hear the voices of other hikers.

This spot can’t be more than 50 feet from a trail that is walked by hundreds of feet a week, including, often, my own. Families and dogs and tourists and locals flock to the trail for the shady forest, the cold waterfall and the glimpses of rugged…

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