Sedona, Arizona

I was hiding from the morning sun. It had risen high enough that its warming rays were turning from the welcome i give it to the disdain i leave it when it reveals its true self.

In the coolness of the shadow in which i sat, i slept.

I was awakened by a small car as it rolled uneasily over the rocks, swaying from side to side as it navigated its way to my left and, eventually, out of my sight.

Annoyed with the encroaching sunlight, i put on my hat and set off with Matilda to explore the abandoned road that stretched to the east when i came upon that car.

The doors and hatch were open.

There sat a woman. And at her feet were two dogs. They had staked out a claim nestled among the outstretched arms of a small tree in this unexpected scene of serenity and peace in this improbable desert setting.

With a smile, she countered my awkward greeting by saying that they had decided to rest for a while.

The older dog was 13 years of age. And the woman and this dog had been traveling together for most of that time.

The younger dog had been adopted as a foundling on a beach in Mexico two winters ago.