(first posted online 2009)
Left Dan & Marian’s Kief, North Dakota farm early Sunday morning, heading home to Virginia, driving southeast toward interstate expediency. But first, the good roads.
Spooked a clutch of juvenile pheasants zig-zagging out of the ditch until their momma glided in, giving direction. Then this church. It’s elegantly simple, with finely balanced Lancet windows. A stately icon of past settlement--of faith, enterprise and now quiet. A kind of quiet , broken by pheasant cackle, grouse wings, fox yips and moonlit coyote howls. Soon, the flurry of dusty pickups will thump on gravel, punctuated by deer-season thunder.
Stopped for Daryle Beckley’s long-horned cattle drive on Highway 200 near the outskirts of Carrington. Cowboys sipping coffee, teenagers colas, both eating kuchen and venison sausages. It’s windy but not too cold. If only I could slip out of our Toyota van and alight on one of their horses, riding to a place far different from our near-Beltway life.