If Eleanor had known what was to happen later that evening, she would have behaved better earlier, up on the mountain road. It was always that way between David and her, a constant dance, a tension between trust and fear, faith and suspicion; a debate within herself over her husband’s competence versus his tendency toward distraction; his calm skill battling in her mind with his desire to stare off at the scenery, or descend into a heated political rant and forget to downshift in advance of a curve. She was too nervous herself, too phobic, to snake along any high and exposed road in their old Volkswagen, a tippy van always unbalanced with too much gear, sleeping dogs in their kennels, sloshy jugs of water. She couldn’t do it in any vehicle: Even in a perfectly tuned Ferrari she would have felt her rational mind hijacked by the fatal pull, the irresistible urge to topple the car over the edge of a many thousand-foot plunge.

What was it? Inner ear, childhood trauma, insanity? She didn’t know. She loved the mountains, felt compulsively drawn up into them. From the lowlands in the San Fernando Valley, where they lived for the simple reason that it was easy to escape, she looked up at the epic scarps of the San Gabriels and longed to scale them, to thread her tough, mesomorphic Celtic-peasant frame through their canyons, bed down alongside their lakes. Up here in the Sierra Nevadas she found solitude, never ending walks on soft granite trails, fir trees whose boughs she could borrow to scrub her pots. Confined to the flats, she would close her eyes and conjure the variegated light across remnant glaciers and towering crags; the elk and deer and even bear that had wandered, nonchalant, across their paths. And yet she was locked out of those ranges’ deepest haunts without a steady guide who could drive, placid and casual, on their precipitous roads, carving their terrifying bends on her behalf.

She had found David late in her life, well into her 40s, when it had suddenly become easy to make choices about partners based on practical need. A New Yorker who had learned to drive in college, and consequently loved and respected it almost as an art, David had never collided with a car full of children in the Minnesota snow, as Eleanor had as a teenager. He drove with a clear mind, while hers anticipated every possible calamity as the road unfurled. To him the maneuvers of piloting a car signified freedom, uncomplicated and serene. She cherished this in him, and he in turn had consciously inured himself to her sharp inhales, her twitching brake foot, her jarring shudders when any other object veered too close.

David smiled, absent-minded, as he ascended around a blind turn on Rock Creek Road, high palisade cliff on the left, a drop to unknown depths on the right, with nothing — no barricade, no berm, no stand of trees — to interrupt it. A pale-green pickup rumbled behind them, insistent, annoying, like tapping fingers or a jittering knee; a Forest Service staffer who knew every curve and grade along this road the way a dancer knows an old routine.

She contained her worry. David was close to 60, in his heart still a mountain man despite his urban origin, all long legs and sinew, as sure in his footsteps as he was in his steering.  Black curls she’d seen only in photographs had now gone fully gray; lines cut vertically down the sides of a face that years of sun had turned the color of milky tea. Eleanor was seven years behind him, but even she could feel her own reflexes slowing with the accruing stiffness in her knees.

“Hey, guy, get off my ass,” David griped with a furrowed glance into the rearview mirror. As if the driver had heard him, he pulled up closer to convey a countervailing message. Hey, guy, speed up or pull over.

“You can go as slow as you want,” Eleanor reminded him. “It’s a mountain road. In Colorado there’s a set speed limit of 35 and everyone follows it.”

“I know,” David allowed, “but, one, we’re not in Colorado, and, uh, one-A, you’re not actually right about the Colorado thing, darling. People speed and tailgate there all the time.”

“On the interstate, maybe, but not on the —“

“And two, I can’t relax with him on me like that. He’s probably on the clock; I think I gotta let him by.” He picked up his speed and she let him, out of respect for his need to focus. They came around the side of the cliff and its edge receded on their right; a strip of shoulder appeared. It wasn’t enough to pull off on, just enough for Eleanor to release herself from her vigilance. She took in the landscape with relief, directing her gaze determinedly over at the jagged gray rocks of a far mountain wall where stands of aspen clung, beaming their September gold.

Then, suddenly, David veered off the road, the green pickup blasting around and past them. The turnout had appeared without warning — Eleanor hadn’t prepared herself — and David had gone from asphalt to gravel at speed, plowing chaotically into a slim half circle between the road and the edge.

The van bounced and shuddered violently, shattering the quiet. Eleanor screamed, and thought she heard the dogs behind her in their crates yawl and moan, filling the car with their acrid, hot exhales. Then she felt the van pitch, as though a wheel had skidded over the edge. Her eyes opened wide to a blinding flash of white. “No!” she yelped, pounding her fists on the dashboard. “Slow down! Slow down!” The van bounced again, and stopped. Eleanor turned to David, face tense, eyes steely: “That’s it. You don’t get to drive anymore. Get out of the car.” She gritted her teeth. “GET OUT OF THE CAR!” David said nothing. Eleanor swung out the passenger side door and vomited onto a small pile of rocks.

When she looked back at David, his head seemed to have spun unnaturally away from her, a scene her brain seemed unable to process, as if the image were somehow jumbled, its parts arranged out of order. She blinked her eyes over and over, thinking perhaps the scrambled picture would correct itself. Then, in a bubble so quiet they could have been underwater, she felt the van pull forward again, back out onto the road, so smoothly it felt like levitation. David straightened his gaze back toward the road, directing the VW mutely back up the mountain.

Eleanor was quiet. He had ignored her demand; he knew she was helpless. “We’re fine,” he said. “Look! Fine. You panicked.” With a sympathetic smile, he reached over to give her knee a reassuring squeeze. She stared at him. She felt so cold. She felt like ice.

They didn’t talk the rest of the way up the mountain. Eleanor, drained by terror, fell asleep, dreaming of sylvan walks with untethered dogs trotting out and back alongside her, their paths forming triangles relative to hers. She was overwhelmed with contentment, secure in her dream, as if David’s arms were wrapped around her and she was nestled in his musky shoulder, even while she walked.


A lavender dusk filled her eyes when she woke, as David was turning into the campground at Big Meadow. It was what the Forest Service called a “primitive” site: No toilets, no showers, just clusters of pine and fir around small dirt clearings, each supplied with a rough picnic table, a bear locker and a metal ring in which to safely build a fire. Eleanor had expected the forest to appear emptied of color by the long drought; the Eastern Sierras were heading into their sixth year without more than an occasional cloudburst. But she and David stepped out of the car into a green forest overlaid with glittering mist and tinged with the pink of the impending twilight. Under the towering trees, she felt like an elf, building her little house in the glen, stirring up soups and stews in tiny pots over her toy stove, her cupful of fire.

As David pulled gear out of the car, she let the dogs out of their kennels: Matilda, a pit bull splotched in taupe and cream, jumped down and went instantly to work, snorfling along the ground for information about past visitors and their diets; Flynn, their tiny black-and-white indeterminate terrier mix, waited patiently to be lifted down to the ground on his small, short legs before joining his companion’s investigation. They were good dogs, occasionally prone to a brief haze of a squirrel, but never a full-on chase; they never strayed far from her side on trails and loved the cozy interior of their tent. She let them ramble and went about her work.

She fished around in the big plastic tub where they stored all their essentials, found the bag that contained a little pocket stove, affixed it atop its small red gas canister, turned the knob, lit a match and saw the flame glow blue. She unnested her stack of pots, filled one with water, and set it on top of the stove. Then she sat down at the picnic table bench to wait for it to boil.

David sat down next to her and put an arm around her shoulder. “Are you still cold?” She hadn’t remembered telling him about the cold. She felt like warm liquid now, fluid and soft. He petted her head, drawing his spread fingers through her dense, straw-like curls, gray outcompeting the persimmon that had once nearly matched her freckles. “You had a big scare up there.”

“I’m fine,” she said. “I’ll be fine. I’m going to make some tea. Do you want some tea?”

“I’ll have some later, when we’re settled in” he said. “I think I should go get some wood first, right?” The campground shared a host, an Australian man named Phil and his wife, Susie, with a couple of others in the canyon; it was a few minutes drive back down the mountain to the trailer and their woodpile, $6 a bundle, 3 for $15. “Do you want to wait till I come back to set up the tent?”

“No, I can do it alone,” Eleanor said. “It’s easier while there’s still a little light.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yep, it’s fine. Go get wood before Phil and Susie take off on their rounds. Leave the cooler, though; the dogs’ food is in it.”

“Okay,” David announced, lifting the cooler out of the back of the van and setting it on the ground. She felt cold again, seized with a sudden panic as she watched him move toward the van, keys in hand.

It was as if he had read her thoughts.

“Don’t worry, El. Really, it’s okay. I’m just going to go get some wood.”

The water boiled and she poured it over a bag of PG Tips in her travel cup and let it steep as she dragged the bag of tent over to a flat, soft-dirt clearing. The dogs watched impatiently as she pulled the tent out of its sack and threaded the shock-corded poles through the sleeves, planting one edge of a pole while she bent the other into its grommet. The familiar dome rose up and she unzipped the door. The dogs bounded in, slamming their bodies together in a joyous mock battle, tangling themselves in the double sleeping bag she drew out of its sack and tried to smooth flat.

Eleanor unrolled two foam bedrolls and slipped them under the sleeping bag, then sat there, watching, as the dogs rolled around and settled, Matilda with her blocky brown head resting on her paws, listening for the return of her most beloved David; Flynn flat on his side, his silvery white patches picking up the last glow of light, stretching out his little stub legs as far as they could go, released from leashes and crates. She laid her head back on the hard, flat tent floor, and listened to her breath.


She woke up shivering in the too-wide sleeping bag, alone and disoriented. Time had passed; she didn’t know how much. She could sense the dogs were gone; she felt around for their bodies, curled as they normally would be in tight little balls. They weren’t there. She hadn’t expected to fall asleep; she’d left the tent door unzipped, expecting David to be back at any moment, a moment that now seemed long ago. She stepped out into the night. No moon had yet risen over the ridge. She tiptoed back to the tent and felt around for her headlamp in the big structure’s side pocket where she always left it, even when she stuffed the tent away. She slipped it over her head, turned it on, and looked around in the piercing beam of light for the dogs. She called their names, whistled. Nothing.

Where? She hadn’t heard them rustle, pad off curiously into the night or dart after a nocturnal rodent. They had vanished without so much as a wet muzzle of notice to her hand, without a whimper of invitation. She called out to David, turning in every direction, shouting; the campground was empty but for her. She wondered if David was stuck somewhere, and the dogs had sensed it and left in his direction, thinking she would follow. It was as good a theory as any, and so she went with it, steeling herself against panic, setting her mind on solving the problem. She was cold again; she took puffy down parka out of the gear box and drew it around her, pulled her wool cap and mittens out of its pockets and covered all the skin she could.

She found the campground road with her light and followed it to Rock Creek Road, the beam from her forehead floating ahead of her steps. Iris Meadow wasn’t more than a mile away; she should reach it in 15 minutes, or else run across David somewhere along the way, in distress, or maybe just stuck. She scanned the landscape with her narrow beam, back and forth. “David? David can you hear me? Matilda, come! Come on, girly! Flynn, here! Come here right now!” The night gave back no clues, no sounds but her own breath and the patter of her sneakers on the pavement.

She got to Iris Meadow even quicker than she’d planned. Her legs ached with the frantic effort; she felt lost, dizzy, mixed up. She turned where the brown sign with yellow lettering pointing toward the campground pulsed in a strange, blue moonlight that came up from somewhere behind the mountains, still without any sign of the moon.

Phil and Susie’s trailer was at the first spot on the left, the end of the one-way loop. She found it completely dark. She didn’t want to wake Phil and Susie up intentionally, but wished they’d startle to her presence and at least look out the window. She needed to know: Had David even been here? Had they seen him? When did he leave? She saw that the gate to the big chicken-wire woodshed had been left open, saw Peter’s keys and glasses on the table outside, as if he’d gone to bed so suddenly he’d forgotten to lock up. She heard the faint sound of a radio coming from the trailer — a right-wing talk station, it sounded like. They could sleep to that? Her mind reeled. Had they all been mugged and kidnapped? She stood and listened for a beat, then turned, fear collapsing over the nugget of hope that she held in her chest, and headed back to camp.

Back at Big Meadow, Eleanor stopped at the information board. Still no moon, still no David: She trained her headlamp on the place where people left white pieces of paper, messages to their friends. “Meet me up at Rock Creek Lodge at 11,” they’d say. Or, “Jules and Sandy, we found a spot up at the Palisades.” It was silly to expect one, she was sure — if David could leave a message here, he could make it back to camp. But maybe someone else would leave a message; someone had found him, injured, unidentified, despite the wallet in his back pocket. It wasn’t impossible, she thought. Nor was it likely. Nothing was likely. She couldn’t figure out what had happened — to David, to the dogs, to her — and she couldn’t see a future where she would.

She sat down on the log where cars pulled up to park, let her head fall into her hands, and shuddered. She steeled herself against it all—the fear, the desperation, the tight pain in the back of her throat; she would give in to none of it. She walked miserably back to their tent.

Maybe he had just left. Left and then come back to sneak away with the dogs. Left because he’d had it, because she deserved for once to be scared about something real instead of inventing things to shriek about. That would otherwise be unthinkable — David still had her purse in the car, her phone, changes of clothes and even her toothbrush — would he have driven off with those things if he’d planned to abandon her? And what clue did she have that he wanted to? Only his irritation with her nervousness, her moody panic, her worries, her habit of trying to forestall potential catastrophes that had never occurred to him. She knew David despised those parts of her. Did he hate them so much that he’d leave? Did he hate them so much more than she expected? She didn’t know anymore. People snap. Her terror on the road might have been enough.

When Eleanor met David 10 years ago, she remembered being impressed at how peaceably he maintained friendships with so many of his ex-girlfriends, among them his polished and confident ex-wife, Susan. “She did all the right things,” he’d say of her. Never forgot to send a birthday card to his mother, his niece, his nephews; always knew what to bring to a party, what to carry to the home of a grieving friend. He brought them all around to meet her, Eleanor, the poet, the literature professor — adjunct faculty, really, but her students called her professor — an authority in a sort of brooding, morose French 19th-century poetry no one cared much about, even if they thought it was cool that she did.

She looked up at the planet Venus, dangling in the sky just over the eastern ridge, throwing off a light that happened so long before this moment. Mallarmé, her favorite, had written about the earth’s tardy light reaching other planets, other stars. But did it not go the other way, too? Venus, too, caught the sun and glowed back at earth an ancient light; they could all be gone, exploded, hit by one last fatal meteor, before any of the rest of them knew it.

She was on a planet, throwing a light into the universe. She wasn’t sure anymore whether she knew where that planet was.

Back at the half-supplied camp, the earth smelled grassy and fresh, the fir boughs shimmered in her shaft of light. She scanned the meadow with her beam and saw little flowers, penstemon and lupine, poking up unseasonably from the scrub. She had no capacity to love any of it. She opened the tent, stripped off her coat and hat and mittens and pants, and slipped, bereft, into the wide double bag that once held so much warm life. She sank into another twilight sleep, her dreams populated with small, friendly animals, unrecognizable fauna of the woods pleading with her to save them, although from what, she didn’t know. She awoke to Matilda licking her face with her huge, overwet tongue.

“Girly, girly! What? Where have you been?” she murmured, half expecting Matilda to formulate a sentence in response. Instead, the dog nosed into the bag, slipping her long body alongside Eleanor into a space that was all of a sudden suffocating. “We have to go look for your dad and your little brother,” Eleanor said as she slipped out, as if she needed to explain to the dog why it wasn’t the right moment for a cuddle. She put her pants and shoes on, bundled herself in her jacket, and stepped out into the black night. Matilda, bewildered and droopy, loped out behind her. She was only five years old, but she looked as though she’d suddenly grown very old, arthritis setting into her feeble joints.

Eleanor headed east this time, across the meadow. It was cut with random paths, but she had no fear of getting lost; orientation in the meadow was always backwards — north seemed like south and east, west — but once you knew that you never forgot it, and you plot your course between the mountains to find any landmark you knew existed. As she started to walk, she noticed a figure in the distance — David! No. Someone else, a stranger, coming toward her, smiling. As he came closer she shot at him with her lamp, rudely, and saw that he was dressed all in denim — jeans and jean jacket over a tattered blue ribbed sweater. He had a low forehead, and cord of thick graying hair gathered into a ponytail. Two little dogs cantered along either side of him. One was a small gray poodle with a blue collar so jeweled she could see the light catch it from yards away. The other dog, she realized as the man drew closer, was Flynn.

The man drew into her light. He appeared grizzled, but in a way that suggested he’d spent too much time drinking and laughing; all the lines, deep, distressed lines, went up. Flynn trotted past her, ignoring her entreaties for a reunion, and perhaps an explanation; in her dreams, he could often talk. The poodle, however, bounded up to her, wiggling and spinning, bouncing its paws off her legs and spinning again, as if Eleanor were the dog’s master and she had just come home after a long day at work.

“Hi,” he said. “I’m Peter. Peter from Cloquet.”


“Cloquet, Minnesota, that is.”

“Oh Cloquet!” She knew the name of the town, if not the town itself. They made paper there, or mined for ore. Maybe both; she couldn’t recall. “How’d you get here from Minnesota? And is this your dog?” They whinnied and danced.

“Do you know this guy?” he asked, not answering her question but pointing to Flynn, who was busy excavating a hole to lie down in.

“Yes, he’s mine,” she said. “Flynn!” she called, but the terrier carried on digging, as if he were deaf. She walked over and scooped a hand under his ribs, sat down at the picnic table and pulled him into her lap. The poodle barked, resentful, somehow usurped.

She didn’t want to talk to any strangers. She couldn’t figure out herself what was going on, let alone explain it to someone else; nor did she want to tell this man that she was abandoned, alone, without so much as a set of keys to defend herself with.

“My husband, he went to get wood,” she blurted, awkwardly, as Flynn shimmied off her lap.

Peter didn’t seem to hear. “Is this your first time here, at Rock Creek?”

“No,” she said. “We’ve been coming here for —“

“You know how long I’ve been coming here?” he asked, then answered: “Sixty-five years. Do you know how old I am?”


“Sixty-five. My dad brought me here when I was still in diapers. I know every trail that’s ever been built around here, sure as I know my own history.”

She detected a lilt of a brogue his speech, a hint of another place that seemed to come and go, depending on how fast he talked. “My father worked the mines up here during the war.”

“Mines? During what war?”

“The Great War,” he smiled; it took up his whole face. “It was tungsten up in those hills, believe it or not, that made them build this road up to Mosquito Flat. Have you been there?”

“Yes, lots of times.” She and David had explored every fork in that trail for 10 miles out, across Mono Pass, through Morgan Pass, into the backcountry all the way to the Sierras’ west side. She thought she knew more than Peter about these “hills,” as he called them, but he wouldn’t pause in his monologue long enough to hear it.

“It’s the highest elevation road in the Sierras,” he said. “Used to be a pack mule trail; it took teams of 20 mules to haul the machines up the mountain and then take the ore back down.”

“No kidding.”

She leaned over to where the cooler was and pulled out food for the dogs, who seemed curiously uninterested; typically the mere sound of the plastic ripping open would stir them up. This time they just sat still and looked out at the meadow, eyes focused on rodents scurrying through the grass, invisible skittering beasts that only dogs’ eyes could follow. Only the poodle looked at her, stared at her, with longing in his small black eyes. But when she offered him a lump of food from her hand, he turned his head away. She wondered if they’d all feasted on roadkill deer or another predator’s cached dinner. A frightening thought.

Peter sat down across from her at the picnic table, and kept on with his storytelling, uttering a baritone hum of words that rose and fell in their intelligibility and interest. Eleanor gave up any attempt at conversation, resting her cheek on one hand and staring off into the distance, wondering what her next move should be, and in her muddy brain trying to calculate the chronology of Peter’s story.

“Your father . . . World War I . . . he came from where?” How did a man who worked the mines in 1916 have a son born in 1950?

Peter smiled and shook his head. “There were a lot of them like him,” he said, his brogue deepening now. “Came over from Cornwall, weren’t prepared for these heights. Some fell in love with the mountain. Some fell off of it.”

“Really? Who?”

He carried on, describing how in the 1940s, they’d built a tram up the mountain that carried ore buckets up and down, a sort of dumb waiter for tungsten ore. “Some men, they didn’t want to climb up the mountain, so they rode in the ore buckets. I remember once, that one fell out.”

“In the 1940s? But you were —“

“Do you know the names of those peaks up on the trail?” he asked her.

“Yes,” she said. “The railroad barons.”

“Stanford, Huntington, Crocker, Hopkins.”

She and David had climbed Stanford, one snow-flurried week-long trip in May that had begun in the Onion Valley. Everyone had left by the time they hiked in past Heart Lake, on the brink of the Kearsarge Pass; they all feared a blizzard. But on the trail, mysteriously, Eleanor feared nothing — not cold, not exhaustion, not getting lost, never getting lost — and they’d pushed on into the backcountry, waking every morning to virgin snow and hiking every day as it melted under the spring sun. It was, David had told her, the best vacation of his life.

“And there’s also bear tooth spire,” Eleanor offered weakly.

“Bear’s tooth spire.” She wasn’t sure if Peter was correcting her, or if he still hadn’t heard her.

The insistent poodle was now between her knees under the picnic table, nudging a dark rubber ball into her lap. The smell of the dog and the ball mixed in her nose and brought back some August day from her childhood, when she’d had a little silver poodle, just like this one. Charm his name was. Charm.

Long ago a woman had walked up to her at a roadside diner in Ely, Minnesota, where she was devouring a blueberry pie after a hungry canoe trip.  She said that Eleanor’s mother, who had died exactly six years before that day, was following alongside her daughter with a little gray dog. “You have to let them go,” the woman had hissed, as if Eleanor were committing some crime against the dead by mourning too deeply her mother and dog. Eleanor had ignored her — she was too young and too paralyzed with grief to consider her relevance — but she’d never forgotten the woman’s words. She wished later that she could find her again, go back and ask the questions she should have asked then.

“Where’d you get that?” she asked the dog. The poodle dropped the ball at her feet, and she threw it. The dog ran off to get it, but the ball never seemed to stop. He kept running, bouncing at times on all fours, like a rabbit trying to get better view over the grass, and then running some more, after a ball that by now he had surely passed; Eleanor had a good arm, but not that good. She stood up, turned around, and realized that Matilda and Flynn had gone off again, too.

“Peter, what just happened? Where did the dogs go?”

“Okay, well, thanks for listening to an old man,” he said, standing up. “It was good talking to you. Are you staying for a while?”

“I don’t —“

“I’ll stop by again soon. Thanks again for listening to an old man. It means a lot to me.”

Suddenly, without warning, a wind blew in, sharp and wintry. She turned to make sure she’d staked down the tent. When she turned back, Peter was gone.

She remembered her tea, which would by now have grown cold. She found her cup atop the bear locker, empty. She thought about making more, but had no strength; the thought of the effort made her sick. She sat at the picnic table, put her head down on her folded arms, and cried until there was no crying left in the world that had not come from her.


Tires skidding over gravel, a wheel over the edge, a blinding flash of white. “No!” she screamed, pounding her fists on the dashboard. “Slow down! Slow down! STOP!”

She had fallen asleep again, or maybe she had sunk so deep into her grim reverie that days had gone by without her knowing it. There was light again in the sky, a faint mauve glow, but on the wrong side for dawn. The dogs were back, sitting, just the two of them again, a few yards away from her, ears alert, triangulating the sounds of the woods. David walked over and offered them a single hand to lick, then sat down next to her on the picnic bench, and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. “Are you still cold?” He asked softly, almost shyly, drawing her in closer and rubbing his hand on her shoulder.

She jumped up out of his grasp and stared at him.

“Where were you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You were gone —“

“Ellie, what?” He grabbed her by the shoulders, stared searchingly into her eyes. “What are you talking about?”

“But I —“

“Seriously, are you okay?” He sighed. “You got scared up there. It takes a lot out of you every time. We shouldn’t do this if —”

“No! That’s not it. You were gone! You were gone for a really long time, David.”

“Ellie, honey, no. What’s going on with you? Everything’s okay. Weren’t you just going to make some tea?”

She felt dizzy, like the molecules of her body were expanding and giving way to another form, like she would disappear, melt into the air. “Tea, right,” she said, gathering herself forcefully. She remembered the words: Do you want some tea. “Do you — Do you want some tea?”

“I’ll have some later, when we’re settled in,” he said. “I think I should go get some wood first, right?”

There was a pause; a shift, Eleanor thought, in some foundation, buried centuries deep.

“Do you want to wait till I come back to set up the tent?”

She looked back and where she’d set up the tent: A pad of bare, empty ground.

“Wait for you? No. What?”

“The tent. Are you okay? I’ve asked you three times now.”

“The tent. I think I can do it myself. While there’s still light.”

She watched him, keys in hand, head toward the car. Don’t go, she thought, but didn’t say it.

“Where are you going?”

“Don’t worry, El. Really, it’s okay. I’m just going to go get some wood.”


Judith Lewis Mernit is an award-winning journalist who writes about animals, technology, energy and nature from Los Angeles, California. Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Magazine, Sierra, High Country News, the Los Angeles Times and The Atlantic.

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