Two trucks barrel down the embankment where we’ve parked high in the Uintas Mountains. We heard them pass a few minutes before but they’ve turned around and come back. They park close, their lights glare through the gaps in our window insulation. We hear a door open and close. I slide open our door expecting a confrontation with rowdy teenagers who want to hassle us or a ranger who wants us to move. A portly man with tan clothes, a flat hat, a flashlight, and a gun walks up.

“Are you guys ok?”

Caught off guard I respond,

“Yea we’re good. ”

“Looks like you been doing some cross-country skiing,” he says.

Thinking we might be busted for something I respond hesitantly,

“We have.”

He launches in,

“We got a report of someone stranded up here but it looks like you two are just having a fine time.”

He must smell the burritos and feel the heat inside the van.

“Can we stay?” I ask.

“Of course,” he says with a jolly smile, “you two have a great night.”

They race off in search of another stranded van. We settle into dinner. Westy life is dandy in Utah tonight.


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