Another North, a North Like No Other

At times, it seems strange, at times--a given. 

A particular scent or a distant memory somewhere at the outer edges of your consciousness, certain places remind you of others--far removed in time and in space--and often unlike each other.

Hiking in the previously undiscovered--by me--part of the Rockies at the end of September, I reminisced about visiting the Jigokudani area outside of Nagano, Japan a few years back. It was the cool, damp air (though lacking the veil of sulphur), narrow winding paths, and ancient, partially derooted trees reaching out with their Lovecraftian tentacles that were responsible for my sense of déjà vu. The latter North was more compact but no less mythic--a variation of the same archetype.

In practical terms, its scenery alone deserves more documentation than it gets in comparison to the world-famous macaques perpetually photographed to resemble decadent, but serene humans in a hot-spring spa (of this I'm guilty, too). 

And so I revisit this fairy tale: