This morning I woke up in a tent. It was cold so I built a fire and made coffee. Enjoying my cup and the quiet and the scenery, a park ranger pulled up in his jeep, got out and reluctantly told me I had to leave the campground as soon as possible because they were going to close the park.
You know, due to the shut down.
So, I finished my joe and packed up unhurriedly. I stopped to savor the canyon, the sound of the creek, the leaves on the trees, and the red dirt under my boots.
The Bighorn Canyon is stunning and full of wildlife, I wasn't ready to go yet. It was a strange feeling, having to leave the area so abruptly. It was depressing.
But, then I started thinking about my leisurely drive through the Big Horn Mountains the day before. Taking in all the changes of autumn, the fresh snow on the mountains, the lavender willows and red thickets and stopping to observe the basque sheep herders and their huge flock on the move. I started thinking about the female big horn sheep I saw on my way to the campground and the skull I found by the creek.
At least I had those thoughts to hold on to. No one could take that away.