The wind roared all night, darkness in furious motion that yet held solidly in place. It was still gusting hard when Harlan Edmonds’ Dodge pickup pulled into the drive beside the house at ten in the morning and stopped behind my Ford standing with the tailgate fastened in place against a full load. I braced the rifle muzzles against the bell casing inside the cab and placed the ammunition boxes beneath them on the floor and the .41 magnum revolver on the Indian blanket covering the bench seat. Behind the Dodge’s wide relucent windshield Harlan was grinning indistinctly but broadly with the Australian sheepdog seated upright and panting on the seat beside him. Everyone loves going into deer camp. The deer, the bucks especially, in southeastern Wyoming have become pretty scarce in recent years, and I’d proposed to Harlan that we try hunting the southwestern part of the state, north of Kemmerer, where I lived for nearly 20 years. I went round to the driver’s side, and Harlan put his window down.
“I’ll keep my phone on but let’s get off in Rock Springs at the Elk Street exit.”
“See you there then.”
The century-old cottonwoods in Laramie’s Tree District make a moderately effective windbreak, but on Interstate 80 the full force of a 40-mph headwind out of the high sagebrush plains to the west struck with full force. ...