As we moved on, knowing we’d have to stop short and camp before the bear canister zone, we were wrapped in clouds inside a forest of giant trees. Without their leaves, it looked like a dreamscape, trunks rising to heights we couldn’t see. John spotted a salamander stretched out near a cascade, brown and spotted, a creature of mist and moisture and enchantment. The sun tried to pierce the cloud but simply sent spotlights into the mist, illuminating the forest understory.
I felt like we’d stepped through a painting into another world, this surreal landscape at once natural and artistic, evoked by wind and rain and sun just for our delight. Perhaps Hansel and Gretl were around the corner, or a unicorn waited on the hilltop.
It was a fragile construct, the enchanted forest, and as we left it we knew we’d never see it in that same way again.