I joined Main Street Writers in the Spring of 2012. Linda, my Love, had suggested that I should seek out a local writing group if I wanted to do more than just the one piece I had written ( Read that one here http://www.mainlyprompts.com/?p=13). I did a simple Google search, and discovered that there was such a thing as Amherst Writers and Artists (http://www.amherstwriters.com/), with affiliates, groups, and a welcoming philosophy of inclusion for new writers. Looking at their group list led me to Kathy Dunn and Main Street Writers (http://mainstreetwriters.com/).
I was welcomed by the group, and felt as though I had been adopted into the writing life. I can’t explain in words the acceptance and encouragement I received. It was wonderful, and I am sure that I walked around in a daze that first week, just waiting until I could go back and do it all again.
This is the first prompted writing piece I have ever done. What would you have done with this prompt?
3-22-12 There is a trail leading off into the distance. Write about it.
I arrived at the drill site after a rather harrowing drive down twenty miles of gravel road. The road was new, and built just to get the rig onto the location. The Tetons didn’t have much road, and if you wanted to get into the middle of the wilderness, you had to bring the road with you.
The routine was twelve hours on, twelve hours off for two weeks, then you got a week off. We worked hard, and the rig was set up to take care of us in comfort. We were fed every six hours, slept in 4-man dormitory rooms, and had a theater with films brought in each week.
On our week off, my crew headed up to Jackson for skiing and drinking. I tried it once, found out that falling down a mountain wasn’t for me, and said “See you back at the rig, guys!”
It was late October in the Rockies, and I grabbed my backpack and walked away from the rig for the rest of my time off. Five days of sleeping outside, hiking, and getting away from the world.
As soon as I turned the corner up into a small valley, the noise and smell of the rig disappeared. I was on my own in an aspen forest, golden yellow canopy above me and high grass or moss below, and peace all around.
I made five miles the first day, according to the map. I wasn’t using it to see where I was going, just to see where I was. As I walked, the sounds of the forest started to come back to me. The birds recovered from my presence first, and chirped, cawed and called away, ignoring me. On my way across a tall grass meadow, I heard, then saw three elk at the edge. They stopped, looked, then dismissed me as no threat and moved on.
I slept on the ground the first night, with the stars above and pitch black all around. Every once in a while an elk would snort. I didn’t want or need a tent. I wanted to see where I was, outside of a cocoon.
In the middle of the night, I awoke slowly and listened carefully. Five miles away, down the mountain and away, I could see the glow of the rig above the trees, and feel the motors drilling into my mountains.