Prologue: Thornhill Trail
“Best to stay on the marked trails, miss–” the ranger looked at her ID again — “Thornhill.” He handed her ID back to her, started to give her a map, then stopped.
“And remember, it’s a federal offense to remove any artifacts from a national park, manmade or otherwise.”
She plucked the map from his hand and took off, a little too fast; her Corolla skidded as she rounded the corner and turned south on the drive.
She was still miffed when she reached the parking lot for the Thornhill Trail.
Once on the trail, she relaxed, telling herself that no one was going to follow her. Hikers looked for old homesteads and cemeteries in the park all the time.
At the bottom of the hollow, she saw an overgrown path veering off to the left. She checked her map, took a swig from her Camelback, and started bushwacking.
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