Unbeknown to me, a river flows below my feet, under the icy dome-road that slicks and cracks with every step. So when I decide to hike near Burnt Lake in mid-July at an elevation of 4,000-plus feet where thick forest’s gentle shade keeps last winter’s snow from melting; and it suddenly occurs to me that I could not be certain that this snow belongs to last winter and not the winter before; who knows the age of water in its many states of matter; that after a mile, which takes an hour, I turn around and start my way back. I notice the snow blankets in all directions, punctuated by straight tree trunks and bramble-low-bushes. My foot falls through the ice and lands flat on the asphalt six-or-so inches below my step; and it feels like the time you walk downstairs in the dark only skipping a step and so falling to the next; that time it stings the base of your foot and you almost tumble the rest of the way; and I suddenly wish that I had brought my walking poles. That is the moment that I notice the river of melt-water rushing underneath the ice that I thought was road and I feel vulnerable. Surely the forest trails are not as treacherous, so I make my way off the road and find a direction still north-ish and more or less uphill, mostly more. After a time, I climb a small hill to survey my path through when the ice breaks open and swallows my right leg, jamming my left thigh against my chest; unbeknown to me, until that moment, was at least twenty feet between me and the ground; my left leg the only thing keeping me above the ice. The brittle ice kept me from pushing myself up and over it, so I decide to feel below for a branch or anything to get my footing. I then climb down, under a dome of ice, make camp and wait for the thaw; which it finally does the following July.