In the air was a faint hint of cow manure blowing in from the west and beyond where the sun sat earlier.
Follow the number one principle – Plan Ahead and Prepare.
She walked away from the gravel parking lot into the darkness. The sloping landscape. The bushes of sagebrush. The whatever we could not see.
Our timeline was off because I wanted to stop at the big box store to save money on the bigger bags of dog food.
Beside me the RV generator turned on. Probably to heat the cool confines or to power the blue glow of the television.
We bounced as if we were riding a roller coaster but it was the roadway. Four lanes of divided highway complete with turning lanes and regular intervals of speed traps at non-descript clumps of buildings.
Someone’s car alarm has begun beeping and feet can be seen shining with light as they walk seemingly without a body attached. All this I see and hear from my small cubicle sized lot in the parking area.
Pee breaks. A sketchy gas station. Define the proper usage of “who” verses “whom.” Do you add a “s” to words that end with “s” but need to become possessive?
They must have a big air mattress. I can hear the battery gadget that blows up this luxury in the outdoors.
“May we have a backcountry permit?”
“Nope … too late.”
Only 30-minutes to drive through the park. Patrol begins from the middle. If we aren’t timely we could be asked to turn around and return to this entrance.
We speed. Watch the odometer. Just past halfway we look for a spot to sit on the tailgate and eat our respective dinners while watching the sun set.
The pullover. It has a parked vehicle. The law enforcement type of vehicle.
Keep going. Drive faster. Watch the sun set from the tinted vehicle window.
Pullover. Jump out. Grab dinner. Grasp spoon. Edging but onto the tailgate. Vehicle lights.
Burly dude. Bullet proof vest beneath his park service khaki uniform top. Exceedingly polite. No, I cannot eat my dinner sitting on the tailgate while watching for the last of the sun to set.
Back to the driver seat. Seven miles to go. Cross through the mechanized gate. Aim for the free campsite. In a gravel parking lot. Find one. Quiet. Dark. Out of the way.
“You can’t stay here tonight!” She screams. I don’t see here. Where is she?
Again, the driver seat. Cross the road to the semicircle gravel lot.
All this outdoor experience.