I was staying at a fishing lodge in the mountains. Just below in an oak grove was a confluence of five streams. Native Americans considered that a sacred space.
A mystic had built the lodge of native stone and hand-hewn beams. He built the flue as he'd been taught, and never had smoke inside. Legends told of visions that he and others had had there.
My favorite canyon I called Indian Creek. I took a roundabout way to the headwaters, so no one knew my secret spot. I picked herbs and steeped them in the waters to make sun beer. It was not alcoholic, nor did it contain anything that would get you high. Other than the water itself. The water was alive, at the spring. Farther down, the life went out of it. I lived for three days on that sun beer, hiking in the mountains.
The fire was low. We heard him coming down the canyon. No one was brave enough to go out and look. That bear screamed like a woman for 20 minutes, while our conversations died. We looked at each other, some in terror, some in wonder. He continued down canyon. No one went outside until the sun was above the trees.
Kelly Peck is "chief
*Is that a rock band? Ed