SUNDAY WE ALL LOADED into AF2 and headed for the hills. I should explain that AF2 is our designation for black 1998 Volvo station wagon number 2. Air Force One (for the original black 1998 Volvo Station Wagon) and Air Force Two (for the “new” 1998 black Volvo Station Wagon with AWD).
Sunday we all loaded into AF2 and headed for the hills in the area of Centenniel, Wyoming, to hunt rocks. Not valuable rocks. Not rock climbing. Rocks. Big rocks that I can add to the rock garden that has been expanding steadily around our building like creeping charlie.
The diversity of rocks in many places in the West is remarkable. They come in all sizes and shapes. All the different types of rock: sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic. The big ones that are almost but not quite too heavy for one normal unmuscular guy to carry are what I’m looking for. They give punctuation in the gray river rock that surrounds all of the buildings here. And on some of those steep slopes, they help keep stone (the river rock) from succumbing to gravity’s certain influence.
Upon our return from this little outing we espied a brown mass off in a field some distance. At first we took them to be horses mostly because we couldn’t feature what else they might be. As we got a bit closer we settled on elk: cows and calfs jammed together like Spartans awaiting that last flurry of arrows from their foes. We’d never seen elk gathered together like that.
On we went through hill and dale until another brown mass appeared way over to our left near the top of a small rise. Again we speculated about its makeup. I thought maybe a posse pulled together to figure which way the outlaws went. But again as we drew close it became evident we were looking at another close-knit group of mama and baby elk. No antlers anywhere to be seen.
As we continued on our way we passed under some clouds that seemed so close at hand we could reach through the moon roof and touch them. Swirling and roiling. We couldn’t help thinking about the predicted end of the world as we know it this May 21. Some evangelical types are quitting their jobs, spending all of their savings in preparation for … I’m not even going to say it.
Up ahead we saw town and blue skies. We wondered if the elk knew something we didn’t. But figured if they did, we’d find out soon enough.