Wednesday, June 30, 2010


"So this is where God decided to put the west.” 
- John Wayne to director John Ford upon seeing Monument Valley, 1938.

WELL, MR. WAYNE – may I call you Marion? – Monument Valley is a fine example, but the west is full of vistas and stretches, passes, arroyos and vales.

Seven AM or shortly thereafter, the sun has crested some nameless range east of Eureka. Shadows are in a tiptoe retreat and the road, having emerged from the former range darts east-northeast straight as a rifle shot. The hillsides and swales are dotted with pinion pine – one wind-swept example looking like a fanciful rider on horseback climaxing a ridge.

Elsewhere, sage blossoms and fragrates the morning air.

In a land where the population density is less than one per section, eighty-five miles per hour seems like fifty-five, and fifty-five a crawl. Although I know the road will not last forever – at least not at this rate of speed – I pray the west will.

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