The midwest

I woke up needing to pee. I’d been worried about the weather so I peeked out through the window. It was pouring down rain.

Not at all the weather I wanted to head into the Wasatch Mountains, let alone the Rockies. And indeed it was snowing as I crossed the Wasatch Mountains, but it wasn’t sticking.

I’m still not sure where the division between the Wasatch range and the Rockies was. I thought I was passing the continental divide when I saw an exit for “Divide Rd.” followed by a steep downgrade. Wyoming, however, has the continental divide marked at two locations farther east, both at around 7000 feet. By that time, however, I was on high plains and out of danger. The rain washed my car—in vain: By the time I’d gotten to North Platte, my car was plastered with insect remains.

There’s just not much to say about Wyoming and Nebraska. I was wondering how people living their entire lives in such a barren, desolate, wide open space could be persuaded of the importance of environmental protection. They see no sign of global overpopulation. There is hardly any water to pollute. The wind blows any air pollution far away. There is, on the other hand, land, lots of it, each acre seemingly interchangeable with the next for thousands if not millions of acres. They are far away from the dead zones where agricultural runoff makes sea water uninhabitable and from areas which will be inundated by rising sea levels. And they would have no point of reference for urban issues, let alone those of highly and densely populated metropolitan areas.

Instead, folks here see billboards from PassItOn.com, an entity that seems to think the big problem with the U.S. is that we fail to feel confidence, optimism, civility, and courtesy. Other signs, billboards, and crosses proclaim that we need to read the Bible (King James Version, thank you) and turn to Jesus.

Sorry, no news today. The drive today was just way, way too long.


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