This is a neat story about being first in a new territory. It does need a few tweaks. First, you are asked to start with a given sentence. The most common cause of disqualification in this contest is writers who like you don't do that. You have to retain the integrity of that sentence. You have to have a period after 'sky'. It is easily sort it but do it or you won't have a chance.
My other bone of contention lies at the othet end of the story.
'It was good to be a mountain man and seeing this country before throngs of settlers came west.' Think about it how does he know that '...throngs of settlers came west.' And that is in the past tense too.
This would fix it but it is really up to you
'It was good to be a mountain man and seeing this country before throngs of settlers come west, as they have already done further south on the prairies.'
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Comment Written 19-Nov-2020
reply by the author on 19-Nov-2020
I fixed the first sentence. My word count is 249. Your suggestion at the end would add 10 words to the count which I?m pretty sure would also be a disqualification.
reply by Pantygynt on 19-Nov-2020
Yes to exceed the word count would result in a DQ so you would have to prune elsewhere, but as I said it is up to you how you remedy the problem.