Count on Portland author Cheryl Strayed for a wild holiday weekend.

Sunday's edition of The New York Times contains a travel section celebrating America's national parks, which celebrate their 100th birthday next month. Most of the contributors focus their essays on hymns to the glorious wilderness.

Strayed, famed for her memoir of hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail, goes in a different direction. Her essay recalls how she was nearly trampled by a bison in Badlands National Park when she was 25.

"His gait had the determined and mildly seething air of a teacher who was marching you straight to the principal's office," Strayed writes, "except in this case, the bison was marching himself. To me."

We don't want to give away too much of the piece, which is a breezy 4th of July read. But if we were authoring a nationally beloved advice column, we would say the lesson here is not to greet a bison too early in the day with a chipper, "Good morning, Mr. Buffalo."