There Is A Trail Up In The Rocky Mountains That You Should Never Hike, And For Good Reason

I took another deep breath and laid there in the tall grass staring at the old headstones and crosses. I was so exhausted I almost felt drunk. It seemed like my eyes were playing tricks on me when the ground before me, around the various cemetery plots started to shudder.

I watched in tired horror as the dirt in the plots cracked open and pale hands, feet and heads started emerge from the dirt. In just a few seconds, I could see about 10 cold blue bodies of old country prospectors emerge from the earth – still clad in shredded, dusty frontier garb. One by one, they laid their shining eyes upon and started to crawl upon the broken ground in my direction.

The surreal image froze me for a second, but my body twisted away just as the first of the dead miners reached me and I turned to face the windswept cliffside. I quickly saw my salvation or untimely end was going to come in the form of a thick rope which hung off the edge of the cliff and dangled endless feet down the side of the mountain.

I crawled over to the side of the cliff, grabbed hold of the rope and swung myself over the ledge of the cliff. I swiftly started working my way down until I felt I had a good distance between myself and the horror above me.

Feeling the slightest hint of escaping safety, I looked back up to the brim of the cliff to see 10 sets of cold dead eyes staring down at me just below the brims of tattered cowboy hats. I absorbed their gazes just long enough to fuel myself with the fearful adrenaline my muscles needed to keep moving down and continued on down the mountainside.


The climb down took the rest of the night. I found myself on solid ground just around sunrise and found a slightly-familiar path which led me to the trailhead after just about 20 more minutes of painful steps.

I collapsed upon the trailhead sign when I finally reached the end of my journey and almost knocked the thing over. I rested there for a few minutes with the rising sunlight just starting to trickle through the trees and warm my near frozen body.

The emerging sunlight didn’t just warm my body, it also brought the world around me to life with the sound of tweeting birds, foraging rodents and brought a bright sheen to an object at my feet – a fresh Polaroid tucked just below my filthy boot.

I bent down and picked up the picture.

A glance revealed it to be a black and white shot of the McCord cemetery from which I escaped. Standing in the middle of the cemetery with a shovel, a handful of gold bars and an ear-to-ear smile was the unmistakable image of Ezra.

I tucked the photo into my front pocket and headed into the rising sun. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


About the author

Jack Follman

Jack has written professionally as a journalist, fiction writer, and ghost writer. For more information, visit his website.

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