Leaving the Great Basin
We rode on a few miles and found Freemont National Forest and a perfect camping site in mixed ponderosa and large junipers.
The cold wind swells and eases through pine needles, pausing now and again for a phoebe’s unmistakable high country song. We lie and listen, warm in our tent and bag, content to feel the weariness of a long day ease from our legs and shoulders. We snuggle and nap.
We awake as the setting sun floods our tent with amber. A snow shower sifts through the ponderosas across the valley.
A red-tailed hawk slides into my tent-door view. His talons find a tall snag. He thrusts his neck into the wind and screams. The winds throws it back to me. And again he screams, never looking at me. A raindrop hits my cheek. And another, another, and the wind against my face, the needles sing and the hawk screams… No surround sound or high resolution television here. This is God’s theater. All my senses suck joy and breathe out thanksgiving. The hawk screams at the setting sun, and we interlopers; he owns this patch of meadow and ponderosas and sky. And I know it.