Bison run faster than humans, I thought on my morning jog, as I panted down the slope. They weigh more, too — around 1,400 pounds. One of those beasts could crush me flat and not even notice. I ran a little distance before looking back at the low ridge, where 50 or 60 bison posed like breathing statues, the morning sun lighting up the smoky exhale of their nostrils. The massive animals showed less interest in me than in the dewy grass around them, but they had surely seen me running, just a few hundred yards away, with nothing between us but the wild, uninterrupted prairie. There was no shortcut back to camp and no easy way around the herd of buffalo. I would have to wait for them to finish grazing and move onward. I continued my run, leaving the faded trail and plodding across the undefined landscape of dirt, sage and scrub. My eyes watched the busy ground, flexing with ant highways and beetles, jumpy locusts and white butterflies. As I ran, I could hear only my shoes slapping the earth and the squeaky whistle of an unseen Western meadowlark. In every direction, the horizon was wonderfully empty…. Read full this story
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