TAKODA tied the last of his gear on the back of his ATV and climbed on. He started the engine and took off, away from the clearing that housed his trailer, down the bumpy drive. He was happy and the only thing that stopped an ear-to-ear grin was the thought of bugs in his teeth. He’d gotten a good job here on the reservation, doing web design. His supervisor was a white guy who’d been officially accepted into the tribe. Bryce was a good guy, who took the time to steer Takoda onto the right path without being bossy. Yes, everything was going his way, at least for now. Growing up on the reservation, Takoda knew to celebrate the good and make the best of the bad. Before landing this job, it seemed he’d spent a lot of time dealing with the bad.

Takoda rode for a while, leaving the central reservation area behind and heading out into the canyons. After an entire week of working with other people, he needed some time outdoors and alone. His destination was a campsite that friends of his had set up near the rim. He only hoped he got there before they did. Takoda gunned the engine and flew over the trail as he approached his destination.