The whole twilight expanse of the tree-toothed eastern Olympics is there before me, but I can only watch my fragile feet, whistling nervously as I stumble downhill in the deepening dark. Somewhere on the slope the sound of tumbling rocks gives away two elk. They're also headed back—and in an instant the path to camp is clear and safe. I've been following all along the old etchings of their broad hooves, the paths of their ancestors, and of mine. I thank them deeply for showing me the way one more time.
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