Tonight’s an evening at the ranch that becomes eerie. We left the lodge late in the afternoon to catch spade-footed pollywogs at a nearby pond. We started telling stories about shapeshifters, if you know what I mean? It’s not easy sleeping when you dwell on such things. Crickets and frogs start sounding louder. Every little movement, voice, drop of water, becomes an atmospheric sound scape. The night is surreal. I’m sleeping a lone out in the bunk house; no crew are staying over. Just the boss, his wife, and me. As we strolled into the ranch after dark, all the lights were off. Everything was pitch black beneath the roaring sea of stars. That midnight sky was bright. The generator isn’t on. My boss has gone to bed. I’m writing and pondering what lurks out in there the night. I’m hearing things. It’s those desert mice scurrying through the Sheetrock walls of the lodge. There’s nostalgic cowboy music playing in the kitchen; the static of this altered reality burns away into the latter hours. My mind is sifting through and regurgitating the same old horrors of unknown things like monsters in bottomless canyons, or the rushing waters of the sandy Colorado crashing down the inner gorge, not far away. The beauty of the Grand Canyon is really satisfying my spirit. I love isolated wastelands, twisted junipers, telling stories around the campfire; listening to the fire crackle, snap, hum. Running the river is a day dream. My life here is but a moment of bliss. I can imagine floating passed dark cliff shadows. Today, I loaded alfalfa, dug holes for fence posts, and ventured into side canyons of Whitmore Wash.