No sky like Big Sky

Deb’s been out of commission the last couple of days, which may help explain why we haven’t ventured very far since visiting the Little Bighorn Battlefield. She’s tussling with a chronic condition which, for the moment, she’s self-medicating. At some point we may need to get her to one of those urgent-care clinics for a prescription.

On one hand it’s been great to be camped in the middle of nowhere. We’re under no pressure to do tourist stuff, with no agenda but to bask in our quiet surroundings — good medicine, a tonic all by itself. The down side is that if we do have to bolt for professional medical care, the closest option is 20-plus miles west.

We’ll just have to see how it goes.

Yesterday we made it only as far as the camp store, driving down there last evening to return a DVD we’d borrowed from the campground’s lending library. Once again, I bought a Wilcoxson’s Huckleberry Ice Cream Sandwich.

I ate it right there on the front porch and brought back another for later. And this time I got pictures.

Throughout our journey I’ve been smitten by skies, nowhere more than in this land known as “Big Sky.” It really is different out here on The Great Plains of America, from Texas northward. Every day we marvel at the expanse.

Latitude makes a difference, however. This far north the air (wildfire smoke notwithstanding) is cleaner, the humidity lower. The horizons feel impossibly remote, even in rolling terrain.

From yesterday afternoon through last night and into this morning we’ve enjoyed the clearest skies yet. Our view of the Bighorn Mountains finally has come into sharp focus. The treeless shoulders of the highest peak we can see are, at last, visible. By my reckoning it stands 7,000 feet above where we are now.

While the atmosphere purged itself of the latest weather system yesterday, the clouds put on a show that had us (and many of our campground neighbors) parked in our chairs like we were watching a sunset. For hours we sat admiring dramatic shifts and moves and changes.

Deb and I took the dogs out last night around 10:30pm. The sky was nothing short of breathtaking — not a hint of urban glow to pollute our view of the heavens, stars crisp and bright all the way down to the horizons, the Milky Way arching softly overhead.

Damn, it’s good to be in The Big Sky.

Shortly after Deb and I got together 16 years ago, a friend made an interesting observation about us. She said, in her typically off-beat way, that we appeared to have one of those rare “no-buts” relationships.

And it’s true. We make neither allowances nor excuses. We celebrate it all, suffer it all, embrace it all together.

We’re defined by who we are, not by who we aren’t.

The same is true of this odyssey of ours.

It’s a fact of life that we leave more undone than we do. None of us, try as we might, can clear the table. We’re left to either cry about what we’ve missed or celebrate what we’ve done.

In a couple of days we’ll mark four months on the road — and just look at where that road has taken us. We’re living a dream. We’ve been places and seen things and savored moments beyond anything we could’ve imagined.

What an ungrateful shame it’d be, then, to say, “Unfortunately, we didn’t….” about this or that.

Our journey isn’t defined by what we haven’t done. It’s a celebration of each and every moment — especially this one.

No buts.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath