the longest day of 2012

wasn’t just a lot of daylight, because first we sat for nine hours of class so that we can now write real tickets if we need to. but after all that schooling and a quick dinner at the cafeteria (the woman made pistachio pudding at my request) seven of us piled in the suburban and drove across the basin. 14A climbs over a mile in a dozen miles. the mountains pile up. limestone layers pushed vertical, soon the ridge is the edge of the earth. there is also a parking lot. one and a half miles on foot to the medicine wheel.

it is a big and timeless circle of small rocks. walk around it clockwise as the sun sets slowly. an old indian beat a drum. soon it was ten o’clock on the longest day of the year. we could look down the spine of the bighorns, north into montana and the pryors and plains, west to my favorites: the absarokas, a couple places i’ve been and far more i’ll never be. it was the feeling of sunset, the tipping point of the year and a brisk wind off the snow banks, of trying to put all the feelings together into one, and a beautiful ancient feeling it was.