Recently, while on the reservation in South Dakota, I would get up early in the morning and go out for a run. Each of these run proved to be not only a good work out, but a memorable experience with an absolute breathtaking view. As far as the eye can see there's nothing but rolling hills and prairies, free from any signs of civilization or the typical scaring thereof.
The particular run (pictured at top), started off with being barked at by the watchmen of a prairie dog colony. This was shortly followed by two huge white-tailed doe leaping across the path right in front of me then slowly, yet majestically dancing down into a ravine and emerging back on the other side of a butte (an isolated hill with steep sides and flat top).
As my eyes followed the white-tail, still hearing the sophisticated underground communications of the praire dogs and taking in the panorama view, I literally found myself running down the path with my arm spread out into the air thinking, "What the heck... I can't believe I just saw all this..." (And that's without mentioning the eagle flying over head of me while I'm running - see picture - middle-top-left.)
Several minutes and a mile later as I circled around where the two doe disappeared, at the top of the butte, I saw another figure standing still on the top, staring right at me. It was a pronghorn buck antelope. I immediately stopped running as I thought to myself, "Do they charge?" Which I figured was a good question to ask beings my early morning traveling companions were all sitting on a hill over a mile away - out of sight and out of hearing. And, in the event this was some protective, aggressive and charging beast, it would be QUITE some time before they would miss me or even longer to find me. Did I mention I was wearing a bright orange shirt? I'm not sure if that's relevant, but I kind like a dancing el Traje de Luces (the elaborate eye catching costume of a matador before the enraged bull.
The pronghorn began to prance and run down the butte. I figured it was an opportune moment for a little impromptu speed work out, so I began sprinting back up the path from which came. After about 50-yards I stopped and looked back to see my friend leaping across the hill-side. I figured he either knew something I didn't, was secretly pinning me in somehow or was simply going on his way. Either way, I decided I wanted to see things from the view from where he had been standing. So I turned around and headed back up the path. A mile later I was there, climbed the butte and what I saw was once again, simply breathtaking... (Below is the view from on top of this view, also known as Pawnee Lookout).