I’d heard the watch go off this morning at seven. Who cares…
…It is still early this morning. I’m startled by the weighty step of somebody big, just outside of the tent. We focus to identify the sound of whoever is tussling the leaves. He’s walking on two legs around our tent. I try to be as quiet as I can to not let the intruder know that I am awake and alert. I slide my hand toward my pistol. Whaoh there! It’s only a turkey.
We try not to giggle too loud, fascinated by the nonchalant behaviors of a wild creature. I whisper, “Sure sounds like somebody is out there.”
I recall last night, just before sundown, there was a big black turkey and a pal digging through the leaves. There are lots of those bugs that we saw yesterday, the black ones with white polka dots, who are mating.
We stretch and unzip the tent. I’m feeling gratitude to be here. The smells, the fresh air that falls from high on the mountain, the divine peace and solitude that comes from the thick coating of silence is out there beyond the passageway. I must reverently crawl on my knees to reenter this monumental church. I stand, take a deep breath and stretch some more.
Through my sleepy eyes, in a delightfully simple state of mind, I see a squirrel with big ears that curl up and then in like a bobcat. Black tips, it eyes me back. It probably can sense who the more alert one of the two us is. We begin the chores, me breaking camp and DF digging through the truck putting breakfast together. She has collected a wild mint to enhance a morning tea.
As the sun filters through the foliage, it warms us, until naked becomes perfect. A hiker family catches us in our abandon. DF is behind the truck. I use the door and turn my back to them. Butts aren’t actually illegal to see. My exposure doesn’t really concern me, and apparently they have little concern, too. We’re excited to return to Miller Canyon on the other side of these mountains.
Crossing the great divide and up Miller Canyon:
“Ya know, I don’t remember this road being so bad on the way in?”
As we lumber down the bouncy dirt conveyance, a deer crosses the road.