From “Go North, Young Woman,” by Sarah Gilman:
Mountain ranges, then more mountain ranges, and then the Spatsizi uncoiled below us like a rope thrown across the valley floor. Aprons of rust-colored scree descended from high ridges to oxbows that looped around pocket lakes. Our landing on one of them was so smooth that I barely registered touching down until I saw spray jetting past my window. Standing on the gravel beach next to a fresh pile of bear scat, we watched the floatplane rise again, drag its reflection into the trees, vanish. We were alone in the middle of nowhere, alone in the middle of everywhere. Then, we were in the water, swimming our first loaded canoe to the portage that would put us on the 135-mile stretch of river we’d waited so long to paddle. That night, as I climbed into my tent on our first beach camp, mayflies glittered in my headlamp beam like animate stars. They reminded me of the constellation of bruises on my shins. They pointed the way.
This is a wonderful piece of writing. It makes me dearly miss the friends I used to adventure with, and the time and places where we once went.