All my life we’ve lived in this tiny town, driving half an hour away for groceries to avoid having to talk to anyone we knew from the local church - a conversation with any older Duncannon native could turn into an hour-long lecture about the evils of “that darn rock music”. One afternoon, on our way home from the grocery store, we passed a mountain that we always pass. Nothing unusual happened. I just had a thought. What’s on the other side? I had never wondered before. We drive around the cove, a giant horseshoe shaped mountain, every day. Past it is Newport, before it is Marysville. I knew 850 would take you back along the side of the U, but never directly behind it. And there it was. I knew every street, the occupant of every building, and every crack in the sidewalk of this town. But just on the other side of that mountain was a dark, blank, spot on my mental map of Perry County.
I started to wonder. I let my imagination go crazy. There could be anything, an abandoned village, a U.F.O. wreckage, a race of mythical beings, on the other side. A whole different life could exist over there, and now that I had started to think about it I had to know. For the next week I pestered my older brother. He told me that Shermans Dale is behind the cove. But I knew Shermans Dale was at least 5 miles away from the bottom of the other side of the mountain. That was plenty of space for my imagination to build on.