It’s another dark night at the ranch, in the lodge. I’m spending the evening alone, but I love the isolation and personal time out here. A few minutes ago, I got back from turning the generator off for the night. The batteries have enough juice to power a few lights, the T.V., and the computer in the lodge. They are generous to allow me to use their PC, which uses a satillite connection. It’s dark in the deep desert. The grand canyon is covered in black with nothing but the stars. The moon will probably come out later.
A bobcat came across the lawn in front of the lodge just after the sun went down. They’re not very big animals.. I watched it for a few seconds then gave it a little surprise. It took of at incredible speed down the hill and through the wash, and was gone. Since last August and I’ve seen kit foxes, coyote, antelope, bob-cats, birds of prey, and most of everything living in the Grand Canyon. We have a pet road runner which hangs out like some close friend. He ruffles his feathers when basking in the sun. I’d like to know why he does that? The bobcat was quite a treat.
In the morning, I’ll drive one of the company vans across the Arizona Strip to Saint George, 85 miles away. There are some steep dugways as you head out of Whitmore Canyon, and climb elevation, passing by the Mount Logan Wilderness Area. There’s an old pioneer school house about 13 miles north, and then there’s the endless expanse valleys and mountains. The Arizona Strip is one of the most isolated areas in the United States. National Geographic magazine calls it The Tibet of the Americas, simply because it lacks human population. The main reason why there aren’t folks living out here is because there is no natural running watera. That means no rivers or streams, except for the Rio Colorado that formed the largest canyon on Earth. Luckily the folks I work for own a private spring. They run water through a 7-mile pipe to the ranch from the spring. It is fresh and cold. The water pressure is gravity fed.
The Arizona Strip is hard and rugged country. It takes a tough and rough human to really survive. It can be a lonesome place, but the silence is a rarity. There’s mysteries to this land. The unknown is out here. I can feel it every day.
2 thoughts on “Quiet December Night”
Hi Nate, how are you? I visit your site always and although I rarely comment, I just wanted to let you know I do enjoy your writing. You’re a very good story tellere. Your writings brings me back home and I love how you can arrange your words to help me visualize actually being there. Until next time my friend…I would love to do another hiking adventure when I make it back to Arizona.
nice writing, the AZ Strip in winter sounds like a place where one can think