I’m writing an entry to this blog, trying to concentrate.
Spike is outside barking his fool head off. I ignore him until I can’t any longer. The sun has set and it’s almost dark. What in the world is bothering him? It can’t be the cattle. They went through here two hours ago.
I go out to see what’s the matter.
Spike is still barking furiously at the field of grassy bushes next to our camp. I strain my eyes to see. I see nothing out of the ordinary, no movement near or far.
I start yelling at Spike to be quiet and then laugh at myself.
What difference does it make if he barks?
It’s not like anybody’s going to hear him but me. No one’s within barking distance of us!
Nevertheless, it’s annoying when you’re trying to write.
I pick Spike up and bring him back inside, closing the door behind us. He’s not happy. He jumps up on the bed and picks up where he left off, barking at the walls. “Shut up, Spike! Lie down and be quiet!” Bridget looks at me. Oh great, now Bridget is worried I’m mad at Spike.
I go back to my blog writing.
Spike picks up a cadence of quiet, one-two-three, “Bark!” Quiet, one-two-three, “Bark!” This is worse than constant barking. By now it’s dark outside, except for the soft light of the moon and stars. I try to upload photos. Spike the Metronome keeps on and on and on. Finally I’ve had enough.
I open the door and throw Spike out.
He races forward, belting out furious barks. I stand in the doorway and strain my eyes to see in the dark. There they are! I see the white behinds of pronghorn bounding across the desert. Oh my gosh, there they go! Three of them!
I look for the pronghorn with no luck. We discover a canyon we’ve never seen before.
On the roundabout walk back home I notice a cloud of dust rising from a canyon in the distance.
Gee, the ATVers are out early this morning. Wait a minute. That can’t be ATVs. There’s no noise. Hmmm . . .
We come to a place of colored stones.
Some are a peculiar green, like avocado, and others are pure white with black bands, perfectly parallel, about a sixteenth of an inch apart. Speckled rocks, shiny rocks, dull, black rocks. It’d be nice to find some gold rocks!
A strange sound startles me to attention.
“HOO-ah! HOO-ah!” It’s a man’s deep voice. I whirl around in the direction of the sound just in time to see a cowboy herding some cattle over the rise. I lift my camera and catch a glimpse as they disappear. That’s what the cloud of dust was! The cowboy was rounding up the cattle in the canyon.
Around noontime I light the briquettes in the grill.
Bridget, Spike and I gather round and enjoy a chicken feast together. I look across the peaceful desert and notice a white dot ascending one of the mountains. Probably a motorhome. Cars at that distance are too tiny for me to see.
I make sure each piece of chicken I give to the crew is cooled enough to eat.
Their happy eyes are bright and alert. I bask in the thought that the rest of the day stretches out before us with no plans, no places we have to be. I dip a piece of charred chicken in a dollop of barbeque sauce. I’d rather be here eating this chicken with my crew than dining in the finest restaurant in the world.