Ranch Country photography
by Robert McCune
Painting the Reservation 2007-2008. Part Five
An interesting sight earlier today. A truck hauling a 40-foot flat-bed trailer load of swimming pools. Fiberglass swimming pools. Trailer had Arkansas plates. Headed for the suburbs of Salt Lake City maybe, but via the Hovenweep Road? That is one isolated back-road. Doesn’t even connect with an Interstate.
Maggie is reading another book. (A small book this time, titled “SLUG TOSSING”). She looks over at me and asks. “You want to hear something really weird?”
Me, comfortably dozing off and not a bit interested: “Nope.”
Maggie: “I’m going to tell you anyway.”
Later that evening. We’ve had dinner, and are settled in for the night. We’re both wiped out. Dog Jose too. Haven't yet recovered from two weeks of really strenuous work back at Chinle, 140 miles south of where we are now.
Maggie (reclining on her bunk) says to me, “I could just sort of sit here and put some toothpaste on my finger. Spit it out the side door.” She’s that tired. Me too.
Me: “The temperature here is just right for a change; not too cold and not too hot. I could easily sleep under my mattress tonight.” (Short pause). “Did I say under my mattress?”
We laugh. I had meant to say “...on top of my sleeping bag.”
The wind is moving across the sage-dotted land, making a low moaning sound through the upper slider windows of SHADOW CATCHER. Clouds moving south to north, deeper into Mormon Country, away from the Navajo Rez. We’re a few miles north of that part of the Navajo Rez that lies in southeast Utah. After rocking and rolling from wind gusts two hours, it is now still. The moon is dimly visible behind a horizon-to-horizon layer of dark clouds. Some rain tonight? Without that blasted wind, we will sleep good tonight.