We left the pavement and turned onto the gravel road that rose through the tall weeds. By the yard the hills to our right and left closed in around us and grew steeper and our way more narrow.
“This is a hollow. This is what they mean by ‘hollow.'”
One mile in and the creek beside us was nearly still and we had passed lone houses that might have been abandoned but would have been scarier if they were not. In one little shambles among tall weeds the door to the house stood open and cats and kittens scattered into the house as they saw us approach.
On a high hillside one house stood on an unkempt lawn and I imagined walking this way at midnight and seeing a light flicker on in some window of that place and being chilled to the bone with an imagined story of who was there and why.
The road went on even though the houses were fewer and farther between and there was less evidence of life. Why ever was this road built? How was this three-mile long effort ever considered, ever justified? What once stood here? What were the dreams and ideas?
Farther up the hollow the trees become giants and as we coast out of the other side and into a neighborhood of mowed lawns we see men and heavy equipment dragging logs out of the forest along a muddy sluice. The stack of fat oak trunks at the edge of the road is ten feet high. This the fruit of a hundred years.