97. A Walk in the Wild

Bill parked his car on the residential street. street used to be safe, but now there frequent reports in the weekly paper about break-ins. put The Club on his steering wheel and sure that nothing of value—not even a pair cheap sunglasses—was visible through the car windows.

He out of the car and started the uphill . The mountain trail was mostly narrow for the two miles. Only two people could walk side side. When the trail got close to the of the mountainside, it was best if people single file. Several years ago, an experienced hiker, alone, slipped and fell to his death. The went past a small lake created by a , and then broadened as it went up into heart of the mountain, away from cliffs. When got to First Camp, he stopped by the stream to look for fish or frogs. Suddenly, heard a sinister rattling sound. Then, he felt sharp bite on his calf. He turned around time to see a rattler slithering off.

There nothing to do now but walk back down his car. He had no cell phone with . He would remember to bring it next time, there was a next time. Should he walk , so the poison would spread slowly? Or should walk fast, so he could get to his and get medical help faster? Perhaps he’d meet on the way down.

A simple walk, he . It was just going to be a simple up a mountain trail.