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I'm struck with how big and how empty parts of this country are.

As I made my way across OK, TX and into NM today I was amazed by the change in terrain.  The landscape is so variable even in places that are ostensibly similar.  It's so open.  I have a craving for wide open space.  Where I live is beautiful, no doubt -- lots of trees and hills.  But it's close, confined, and sometimes downright claustrophobic.  I long for a place where the sky stretches from horizon to horizon and dwarfs the land beneath it.  The vastness of it makes me feel somehow exposed and invisible at the same time. 

It's a lonely place, made lonelier by the skeletons of abandoned roadside motels and defunct gas stations that line the highway at regular intervals.  The tawny landscape dotted with pale scrubby vegetation and occasional windmills (both the old-school pumps and the new wind turbines) is only rarely interrupted by an empty grain elevator or a dilapidated house.  There are some signs of life, to be sure, but they are few and far between.  I couldn't help but grin as I made my way down the highway watching the heat shimmer on the road like water and a tumbleweed crossed my path.  It's so cliche and so perfect.

Another gorgeous sunset today, this time over western New Mexico.  The sky to the east was fuchsia, clouds stacked up behind the mesas.  The western sky was streaked with orange, the shade of sherbet.  Tomorrow I'll alight in eastern AZ, the terminus of this particular journey.  I'm spending the rest of the month there.  But since I've come this far west, I intend to continue on this road all the way to the coast before I head back east.  

I've driven >1500 miles in 2 days.  I still kinda feel like I'm moving even when I'm sitting still. 



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
You have driven very far!! I remember driving across TX once and that absolutely wore me out. I like your descriptions of the west. :)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 8th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
Thank so much for reading and taking the time to comment. It's been a great trip. It's so nice to just get in the car and go!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )