full circle in the hundred acre wood

OUR LAST DAY IN SANTA FE: tomorrow we’ll drive over to Albuquerque, spend two nights and fly home.

Back to 5/25 in Dulce. Buck’s guide came by at 6pm to go to the shooting range so Buck could make sure his scope hadn’t been knocked off by the airline baggage handlers. Good thing he did, because it had. I went out to the parking lot to meet the guide briefly while Buck got his gear together. His coral sunset-colored truck, diesel engine murmuring, was in front of the sidewalk. The man himself was standing in-between the outer and inner doors, holding the inner door open. I introduced myself, we shook hands, and I told him Buck would be right out. First impression: 5;8″, a little stocky and “too many cheeseburgers” as the outfitter had said, jet black hair under a cap, neatly dressed, a least one tooth missing from the right side, showing a dark hole when he smiled.

They weren’t gone long. Buck and I had a drink together, then walked down to the restaurant. Few customers. A comfortable, clean place. Buck ate a salad, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and corn. My choice was chicken fajitas, all good except for the guacamole, which tasked like it had been made with Miracle Whip.

We set the clock for 4:30 a.m., read our books for a little while and shared some chocolate ice cream in a paper Coke cup from the restaurant.

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