Tandem, An American Love Story

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.


Tandem, An American Love Story — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the memories, and the update on your own adventures. That last few days back to Sequim was bitter-sweet after more than a year on the road. We’ve never been the same; a good thing.

  2. What a marvelous and beautifully descriptive article about a simply amazing woman – Karen Landis. I’ve had had the serendipitous experience to create and nurture a friendship with Karen after I underwent a hip replacement and three hip fractures and realized I needed to request the local “Meals on Wheels” service. And of course, if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Karen serves the Chino Valley community two days a week by delivering meals to people in my circumstance.
    I loved Karen the first moment I met her. And when we started chatting I knew I had met a soul mate. I’ve been looking all my life for a role model, a hero, an amazing example of humankind. I don’t know if she realizes what an outstanding example she is of a strong, independent, intelligent, talented woman. Sometimes as women, we have a dentency to undervalue ourselves. But Karen, I want you to know you are the real deal. You are just so beautiful in your authenticity. And I a so appreciative of the value you have added to our environment by caring for the land and the animals under your watchful care. Your abilities and strength simply boggle my mind. And thank you for your loving service to me these past four months. You rock girl!

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