Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A High Desert Serenade

I'm at Buckboard Campground, 25 miles from nowhere in Wyoming, staring at a high desert sky so close I can smell it.

Across the horizon, I see mountains and buttes and a landscape polka-dotted by yellow and silver sagebrush.

It's still out here. Nothing moves, except jackrabbits.

A breeze kicks up. I hear leaves quiver.

Allen works on his bike and I'm sitting in the shade, reading.

I'm thinking it doesn't get much better than this.

When  "Heheheheheheee wipe oooout!" The Beach Boys? They're so loud, the drum solo thuds in my chest. Where is it coming from? Who cranks up music in the desert?

Allen and I look at each other. And we figure it must be a fellow camper a little too enthusiastic about rock 'n roll. Disturbing my peace.

I stand up and scan, looking for the soure of our concert. And I see just one motorhome in the midst of the music. So I leash up my dog to take a walk to find out what's what. As I walk, the Beatles join me in this dusty place. And the Eagles, too, welcoming me to "Hotel California." 

As I near what I think is the out-of-control music lover, I find the source. It's not a selfish camper at all. The strains waft from a marina about a mile away, next to the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. There's a bar-be-cue, I learn, for anglers in competition to raise money to support research into Down Syndrome. And it might go on for hours.

Nice cause. But hours?

Well, it could be worse. At least the music's not awful. Just out of place. Out of sync with reality. So we decide to ride our bikes, out into the desert.

I'm thinking we can get away from it out there. And recapture the bliss.

But it follows us. This concert. As we pedal along a dirt trail through the desert, past yellow and gray sagebrush, as the sun drops behind the mesa, turning the sky a brilliant red, orange and Prussian blue, we do so to a classic rock soundtrack. Like we're in our own personal movie.

And, oddly, I'm no longer bothered. Instead, I'm thinking, it doesn't get much better than this. 

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