According to my reliable and generously informative sources, the whooping cranes are starting to cross into North Dakota.
According to town gossip and weather.com, so is the snow.
In the words of fellow cross-country adventurer Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.
Tonight, my teabag told me to “enjoy the experience,” and I’m not in the mood to argue with or disobey the greater powers at work in this universe. But I am slightly concerned about the selection of outerwear I absentmindedly shoved in my backseat before leaving Missoula. I was bound to dig deep into my hardened, cold-blooded North Dakota roots at some point on this journey…I just didn’t think it would happen on day four.
Tomorrow, I head out into the field. And while that might sound like some cool environmental journalist terminology for conducting controversial and pressing on-the-ground interviews, I just mean that I’m literally going to be walking across fields the whole time. If I can avoid close interactions with large horned animals, I’ll call the day a success.
And if I can’t, well, then I won’t be around to call the day a failure. High-stakes stuff, this endangered species conservation. I hope the whooping cranes can sense how much I’m laying on the line for them. My wallet, my all-weather tire treads, my dignity, the very breath in my lungs…
…I should probably get some sleep.