I was 15 at the time. My father, grandmother, and myself were on an afternoon outing, deep in the woods of my father’s youth. We were looking for some rocks that have been drilled and shot sometime in the distant past. My father had stumbled upon these rocks on one of many adventures of his youth. These shot rocks, he was convinced were somehow connected with the legendary, John Swift’s lost silver mine. If there were a connection may never be known, but it did provided reason for a pleasant hike through the woods.
We had been on the move for several hours, stopping now and then to inspect the numerous cliff faces of the area, but had found nothing of particular interest. I decided to let them go on ahead a bit, having the intention to light-up a cigarette when enough distance was between us to keep my secret safe. So when it was clear of sight and sound, I leaned against a tree and lit one up.
About halfway through, I became aware of a low-rumble, as that of a vehicle in the distance. Being familiar with the area, and knowing there was no nearby roads, it immediately struck me as odd. The sound steadily grew louder until, right along the top of the ridge it appeared. It was a truck rigged for log hauling, the cab was white, with a strip of chrome running down the side which caught the sun and gleamed brightly. There was what I assumed was a man, with no shirt and his well tanned arm propped in the window. I watched it as it made its way along the top of the ridge and disappeared out of sight. The sound grew steadily lower as it regressed away.
I lite up and finished another smoke, and no more of it, other than a logging operation had opened up in the area, I went on my way to rejoin my family. When I had done so, I mentioned in passing what I had seen, and my speculation as to the logging going on. My father balked at this, saying no there was no logging happening in the area. His flat rebuke of what I was saying began to annoy me, so I set out retracing my path to where I had been standing. When I made it back to my vantage point, confirmed by my freshly discarded butts, I hung my red bandana in the limb of the tree, and started up toward the top of the ridge where the truck had made its transit.
As I made my way, I periodically turned keeping the bandana in sight. I had originally guesstimated the distance from my original viewpoint to be just shy of 100 yards. When I made it to that distance, there was no road, or no contemporary road anyway. That was what may have been at one time, however there were trees of several diameter growing in what would have been the middle of it.
Finding this unexceptionable, I pushed on to the absolute top of the ridge only a few yards further. The bandana was still in line-of-sight as I began descending the other side of the mountain. I retrieved my marker, and made my way to reunite again with the family. When asked what I had found, I said, there is no logging goin