Tracks

BearScratchbd cropMany Archaic firepits. Circles of black soil on yellow sand, red heaps of burned rock. The mesa ridges were wind-scoured, not a grain of loose sand, streaks and gullies gouged by the wind.

A bear’s footprints, round sole, four fat round toes. We followed them; the bear had broken branches from a juniper to eat the ripe berries. Suddenly Jan said, “There!

It took a moment to spot it, about five hundred yards away: black, big, ambling and then running away from us, its loose skin every which way, shining in the autumn sun.

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