Mountain Stories: Pearling the Mountain, Settling the Sun

San Jacinto Mountains
Idyllwild, Calif.
Fern Valley
7:00 p.m.

A dusky mist pearls the mountain.

In the hollows of our valley walls, midnight blue stretches and spreads.

Light plays along the ridgeline, peachy cottony clouds dare night to fall.

Strawberry Creek runs fat and furious; San Jacinto Peak, far above us, is still cushioned by snow.

Tahquitz Rock is gilded by the sun settling into the Pacific, 120 miles away.

As I am about to reach the cabin, I startle what looks to be a fawn, and she startles me. Her hoofs beat a tattoo; she turns to give a last look, and bounds toward the creek.

What does sunset in the San Jacinto Mountains have to do with my novel, Missing Meg, set in 1932?

My character, Ned Canon, was born here, in 1900. Wild strawberries grew everywhere in summer then, and the valley was emerald with ferns.