An afternoon hike through the Olympic Peninsula rainforest turned into the adventure of a lifetime for two fifteen-year-old cousins.
While Hannah’s parents took a Caribbean cruise, she accompanied her aunt, uncle and cousin Jonah on their vacation to the Pacific Northwest.
The splendor of Olympic National Park beckoned, and Jonah convinced his cousin to explore the area by hiking some of the nature trails. Hannah had heard the legends of Lake Crescent, and was curious about the region so she agreed. They set out for a short walk before dinner.
The trails took them deep into a forest full of awesome trees–gigantic Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, and western red cedar. Like a scene out of Middle Earth, one particular behemoth stood as a monument to a time before time began.
Jonah found a small totem wedged in the tree’s roots—a Native American artifact that looked too bright to have been exposed to the elements for hundreds of years. Convinced he might find more treasures hidden in the tree, he ignored his cousin’s warning that they should head back to camp.
Hannah wasn’t happy but she waited…and waited.
Jonah disappeared. Did he go off and leave her as a joke? No, he wouldn’t do that. Maybe he climbed inside the tree and got hurt?
Nothing but silence. An eerie primordial silence. And a strange mist began swirling and ebbing around the lichen covered tree trunk. Hannah circled the tree and found a hollow area then climbed deep inside, searching for Jonah. He wasn’t there. Angry, and now convinced that he’d left her all alone, she headed back.
Only, she couldn’t find the trail. Or the cabin. Or any sign of modern civilization. Nothing looked familiar. It was getting late, and she tried not to imagine what might be lurking around the next tree. Maybe Bigfoot himself.
Lost. In the forest. And it started to rain. She took shelter in a hollow log and stayed there overnight.
What Hannah discovered when she awoke the next morning was something so unbelievable she thought she was still dreaming…