Today is the 50th day of the year and I thought I would take some time to reflect on how the year is going, especially since 2020 and 2021, were more bad than good.
I returned to my car and slipped behind the steering wheel. I had already hiked several miles and was looking forward to getting back to my hotel room and resting before dinner. As I began to take the turn and leave the area surrounding the Grebel Ponds at Fort Robinson State Park behind me, I noticed a large, dark figure come over the top of a nearby ridge to my left. I stopped the car and squinted into the distance. A lone bison was wandering down the slope of the hill, stopping momentarily, here and there, for a bite to eat. It paid no attention to me.
In my first excursion into the world with other people in 10 months, I began 2021 on a high note. Traveling with my friends Steve, Katie, and Jeff, we hiked to the top of the bluff at the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area, walked across the bluff to the far side and back. After 8.5 miles, it was my first physically distanced, non-mask wearing trip since February 2020.
Before Steve and I even got out of his truck we could see them. They were several hundred yards to the north of us. Steve and I grabbed our gear. We made small talk about our choice of clothing that day. I chose my black t-shirt. I was cold now, but in an hour, I’d be warm enough. Steve had on his red sweatshirt and and a goofy knit cap to keep his head warm. He was warm now. We also knew he’d be plenty hot in an hour.
I sometimes forget that my 300mm lens really isn’t that big, especially when you put it next to his 500mm lens. Ovis Canadensis was on our radar today. It would be the first time I would ever see the Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep in person and the pictures were worth the wait.
I crossed the old wooden bridge over the canal on County Road 17 and continued on. The dirt road makes an almost ninety degree turn just up ahead before winding back to the left, then right, ending in a small, open area. A sign lets you know you all the people and organizations who have made this area possible. The Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area parking area is uneven and rocky. It’s just a dead end, but only for a vehicle.