On the horizon, snow capped mountains scratched at an overcast sky. The sun, barely beaming through the thick grey clouds was a dull hue on the white washed terrain. Branches bowed under the heavy loads of snow, and in the breeze, often shed their passengers who tumbled to the forest floor with a thud; trailed by a cloud of fine crystals.
Brian would have loved to suck in the scenery, but there were more pressing things on his mind. With his skis badly waxed, he trudged slowly through the trail and was far behind his party who'd plowed ahead. Cross country wasn't much his thing to being with, but when his wealthy friends offered a fly-in getaway for the weekend, he couldn't refuse.
Although to think of it at the moment, Brian's expectations of a fly-in where usually based in the summer months. He imagined a pontoon plane touching down on a pristine lake, hundreds of miles away from civilization. He imagined casting his line into bodies of water that, due to their sheer isolation, may have never been fished by man before.
Unfortunately, Brian agreed to a winter fly-in and found himself standing on two planks of wood that he barely understood how to use in order to move forward. The camp was as isolated as his fairy tale fishing hole, nestled in the mountains; an old rangers cabin. There was barely enough room for the four of them, let alone the golden retriever that Anna had to bring. He thought for sure the thing was going to hurl up breakfast lunch and dinner when they were dangling a few hundred feet in the air, held up by a couple old aluminum arms that made up the wings of the bush plane they rode in on. Miraculously this never happened, and now the dog was probably resting comfortably in Brian's cot.
The thought of the warmth at the cabin forced regret into Brian's mind as he pushed on in the snow. Though he didn't have a map of the area, it was nearly impossible to get lost since the two parallel tracks his skis were trapped in only went in one direction. Until of course, the problem arose when Brian found himself at a 'Y' in the path.
With the snow coming down readily, Brian couldn't quite tell which direction his co-worker hosts had gone. He decided, not thinking much of it, that either path would lead to the cabin, and turned left.
It was hours later that he realized perhaps his rash decision making was not the most accurate. There was no way the cabin was this far out. Not to mention the trail he'd taken must have been for the skilled skier as Brian was now teetering on a steep hill. He didn't have to gaze down to see the tops of trees as he froze there on the hillside over the deep valley.
He was certain at this point, that he'd taken a wrong turn, and it was getting late. He decided, the best course of action would be to turn around and go back the way he'd come. With that decision made, his legs began doing what he wanted them to do. Unfortunately, the skis weren't in a turning mood, and Brian wasn't the most agile of persons. He stepped on the one ski, and when he tried to adjust, forgot that his feet were connected to the skis at the toe. He toppled and began a long series of somersaults which ended in the collision with a large tree.
When he woke, his fingers were aching and the snow had begun to come down even harder then before. In fact, the snow was so heavy that Brian couldn't even make out the path he'd troweled on his way down. Already having been lost, now Brian did not even have a point of reference to work on.
He sat there, realizing finally that he was truly and utterly lost.