The words on this "LOST" promo for Winter Haven have a spooky, personal ring for me. For several memorable and exciting years I backpacked and camped in the Smokey Mountains. On one occasion, I got separated from the rest (impatiently going ahead of them) and ended up disoriented and headed in the wrong direction. Since we had split the equipment and supplies among our several packs to distribute the weight, I only had a sleeping bag and minimal food and some otherwiwse useless supplies in mine; a flashlight, apparently not among them.
After a few miles, the trail I was on... just ran out, disappeared to nothing right in front of me. It was now gettting late in the afternoon and on the floor of the forest, darkness comes very early. I knew there was not sufficient time to possibly, maybe retrace the long distance back in time to locate the main trail (as if that would even do me any good at that point).
Realizing my situation, I vainly accelerated my pace in whatever vague, passable direction opened up in front of me, without a trail or compass or steady fix on the sun's direction. Knowing I was in the heart of bear and wild bore country and being quite aware their night-time hunting/foraging habits, my only chance of getting out before absolute pitch black set in (virtually eliminating any walking at all) was to hopefully wander (rapidly?) in the direction of the only highway that split the Smokies, running north/south from Tennessee to Georgia... without a clue as to where it or I actually were. Perhaps, if I could only hear the sound of a distant vehicle driving on it, maybe I could try to home in on, stumble in the direction of that sound, even in the pitch blackness.
Indeed, I cold not "...see anything at all but tree after tree after impossibly enormous, silent, looming tree." ...and the time was quickly running out.
Athol grew up studying art privately and in public school, then at the university level where he transitioned to architecture. He founded an architectural firm, then started writing in his spare time. One thing led to another over the years, and now he is a full time novelist. Athol once sold his house and car and moved aboard a boat to cruise the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of the USA. Athol lives in southern California, where he writes among the hummingbirds and palm trees, with the scent of flowers in the air.