The Troublesome Mountain

I was inspired again by one of Jason’s photos from the sand dunes. It looks like you can reach out and touch them. Enjoy! And Thanks Jason for the inspiration.


Digging in dirt was his job and he could think of nothing else that he would rather do. It was an adventure, never knowing what one may find. Ever since he had been in third grade he had known that he wanted to be an archaeologist. His parent’s had bought him little archaeology kits to play with and books about archaeological digs for presents while he was growing up. Little Ricky would read the books cover to cover several times, but his parent’s still thought it was just a childhood passion that would pass. As he got older though they could tell that it truly was a passion of his and nothing would stop him.

He worked hard and earned scholarships, graduating at the top of his class, Magna Cum Laude. HIs parent’s were so proud. Over the years he had traveled many places to go on archaeological digs. Sometimes the digs uncovered treasures and other times it was just another day of digging in the dirt. Every archaeologist knew that the majority of the time you didn’t find amazing treasures, but even the little things that were uncovered were important. Every object was a piece of history.

One of the most special treasures that he found was what they believed to be Europe’s oldest map!

Not everyone gets to seee their childhood passion come true, and Ricky felt blessed that he was one of the fortunate ones who truly loved his job. But even those who love their jobs still enjoy a break from time to time. This week Ricky was enjoying his break and looking forward to exploring the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

After a hearty breakfast the next morning of some breakfast burritos and strong coffee he made his way out to the dunes. The weather was cool, and the view of the mountains was amazing. Taking off his sneakers he walked through the sand barefoot for a little, it felt good. It reminded him of how often he would go barefoot as a child, running through the lush meadow of his Pennsylvania farm. Then wading in the creek.

But after a little while of enjoying the sand he put his shoes back on. He knew that the sand would get hot soon from the sun and he didn’t want to burn his feet. When he was a child in certain parts of the meadow he had to put his shoes on as well, for he didn’t want to accidentally step in any cow pies. He had made that mistake before as a child, and learned pretty quickly.

Stopping on top of a mound to put his shoes on he rested for a while. It took more energy then the thought climbing these sand dunes. Reminding him that he may not be as young as he liked to think he was.

After a nice break he walked around a little more and then decided to start down. Not many people were aroound, he was pretty much on his own. He didn’t mind that a bit. Solitude was something he relished and made the best of the moments when he got it. Ricky was in no hurry to get down from the dunes so he took his time.

He kicked at the sand a little and uncovered something silvery. Just part of it was sticking out. What could it be? Probably nothing. How many people had walked up and down these dunes, could there really be anything valuable that hadn’t been uncovered? Not expecting much but being curious he squatted down to uncover it fully. A silvery cowbell? What was a cowbell doing here? He knew that there were not cows in the Great Dunes National Park that roamed around. If this truly had belonged to a cow before it had to be really old.

He inspected it. There were words on it, but the cowbell was old and weathered, the words were too faded to read. Had other people found this cowbell before and just let it stay here in the dunes, wondering what they would do with a cowbell? Did the ringer even still work? He guessed there was only one way to find out, but right before ringing it he had a strange feeling come over him. What was going on? Shaking his head he rang the bell, amazed that it still rang quite well. He rang it again. Hmmm… maybe he could think of a use for it. Seemed a pity to let a perfectly good cowbell just lay here to be destroyed by the weather. Maybe he could shine it up and find a way to figure out the inscription. Yes, he would keep it. He went to put it in his pocket, ringing it once more.

POOF! Purple and pink smoke filled the air as he spun around. When the smoke cleared Ricky was bug eyed with astonishment as he looked around. Where was he and what had happened! it was like he had traveled back in time. He was in ancient times, had to be. The question was what ancient city was he in? He noticed a mountain in the distance and something struck him. A feeling came over him that he couldn’t quite describe. Smoke was coming from the mountain, but people didn’t seem to notice.

People passed him by not seeming to pay him any attention which he thought was strange, for he must have stuck out like a sore thumb with the way he was dressed. Then he looked at his clothes and received another shock. He was dressed just like the others. No wonder no one seemed surprised to see him.

Walking in the bustling city he passed tool maker’s shops and bakery’s with kilns and furnaces. There was also a sea port nearby. He couldn’t even think about how he got here, for that was just too much for his brain right now. All he had done was ring a simple cowbell. Maybe he had fallen asleep on the sand dune and was dreaming. But still he wanted to know where he was. Oh, there was a man on the street corner trying to sell his wares He was yelling to everyone. Rick moved closer so he could hear. “Welcome everyone to the great, rich, city of Pompeii!”

Ricky gasped, Pompeii!! If this was Pompeii then, OH NO, that mountain was Mt. Vesuvius! Was this the day that Mt.Vesuvius erupted?? He pulled out the cowbell, he still didn’t see how a simple cowbell could transport him back in time. But right now that didn’t matter, he just wanted to get out of this doomed city! He rang it once and closed his eyes, nothing happened. Oh come on, he rang it again, and still nothing. He saw more smoke billowing out of the mountain, holding his breath he rang it once more. POOF! Pink and purple smoke swirled through the air.

24 thoughts on “The Troublesome Mountain

  1. You can tell this is fiction, if anything there might be a deer-bell on the Great Sand Dunes, but never a cowbell. {snorf} Weird things always happen to a grown man who still calls himself Ricky.

    At one time, when I lived not far from the Great Sand Dunes-that part of the Valley is amazingly picturesque, I lost a lens cover there. Maybe ‘Rick’ should have found that instead of the cowbell. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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