Deep Creek Canyon
Jack was beginning to think maybe he didn't want to know what was in the woods on the other side of the ditch, so he decided to see if he could scare it away. At Jack's feet was the egg-shaped, white quartz rock he had placed on the top of his cairn, so he picked it up and threw it high into the trees and listened to it crash through the branches to the ground. Jack didn't hear the sound of an animal trotting through the woods, just more silence. Either the animal had left again without Jack hearing it leave, or the rock was not enough to scare it away. Jack decided the best thing to do was to head back home, and he and Tawny turned to walk away. After only a couple steps, Jack heard something hit the ground behind him with a loud thud. He turned to see what it was, and there, lying on the ground about five feet away, was the quartz rock. After decades of hiking and mapping thousands of miles of trails, Jack had seen and heard many strange things. Most could be explained as Mother Nature just doing her thing; however, a few of them were just strange enough to stay with him forever. The strange, nonhuman howl. The rock returned from the trees by some unknown thing. Keith, the unusual man who kept showing up on the trail. The canyon that man told him about. Jack didn't know it yet, but everything he did and everywhere he went was leading him to that canyon. What will he find there? Why does Keith think it is so important? And maybe most importantly, what does Keith have to do with the mysterious creature Jack's been tracking?
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