I look south, past Pike Mountain, past the Goat’s Teeth to the cozy hamlet of Grebewater. What a quaint and tranquil place. That anyone could survive, let alone thrive, among the wilderness is impressive. For those who call these hinterlands home, it is even stranger.

There is an inn, called The Lonely Spirit, that welcomes more transient souls. It’s no hyperbole or metaphor — the place gets its name from a singular presence, one that has looked after the southern meadows and forests, the tributaries that flow from the mountain range, for as long as I can remember. If one is lucky, they might earn an audience. Perhaps I should reach out… it’s been too long since we last spoke.