The Hundredth Meridian

Elk Hunting in High Heels

“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”  Having slept on the hard ground in single-digit Fahrenheit temperatures, tramped all day through a snowstorm at 11,000 feet of elevation against a 40-mile-an-hour wind with a 20-pound survival pack and a seven-pound rifle on your back, and ridden horseback by night out of the mountains, saddle-stiff and numb with cold, behind a dying flash-light, it’s easy to forget an underprivileged soul whose experience in life has been restricted to directing the publicity department of her father’s New York publishing house and helping manage the Conservative Book Club for years.

Not that I’m ever tempted to criticize Maureen, who’s been a brick all summer: allowing herself to be dragged—twice—to the bottom of Nine Mile Can-yon over in Utah, up the slopes of Sheep Mountain west of Laramie, and boosted onto the back of the green-broke stallion I was nervous about mounting myself.  Even so, I was astonished, as well as pleased, when Maureen announced that she wished to go along to elk camp in October.

“You really want to go hunting with me?  You’re sure?”

“I’m sure.”

“It’s going to be cold at night.”

“I know it.  My nephew...

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