When it comes to travel, I positively prefer to go back-country and to avoid cities, which, with their concentration of people and cars, leave me feeling downright claustrophobic. The great thing about the Plains is that you definitely don’t feel claustrophobic there.
Another delicious thing about traveling West is the increasing dryness you encounter as you approach the middle of the continent, and the number one reason why we chose West as both our honeymoon destination eight years ago and for our big trip this summer. A child of the desert, every few years I begin to ache for a yellow landscape and the hot, dry air, what’s with living in Wisconsin and all.
I think these photos show this deeply-satisfying progression from green to yellow quite nicely:
Iowa – they actually call this part “Little Switzerland.”
Still Iowa, with its lush-green unirrigated cornfields.
Farther West yet – see how things are starting to look dryer?
Middle of Nebraska!! So… much… more… yellow! Ahh….
Still the lawns are green and soft. This is America, man.
We are not in Kansas anymore… Talk about the yellow brick road.
Incidentally, I found a free copy of Wicked at a “take a book, leave a book” shelf of a Colorado campground. It’s not bad.
The first irrigation line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Note the brown hills on the background – they look just like my native Absheron peninsula.
In Colorado now – brown!!! This is just like home.
Yellow pastures! I always love seeing some cattle in the landscape.
Mmm, very much like my native part of Azerbaijan. Ever watched The World is Not Enough?
SAGEBRUSH!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe we didn’t bring any home. I am so bummed out by that. I absolutely love sagebrush.
Oh, the blessed dryness that makes sagebrush grow. This hot, dry air is to die for.
Prickly pear!!! About as approachable as me. I am a desert fruit, everybody.
Wow, I’ve never seen a powerline this big – like a mechanical giant, marching across the plains to bring us the good “computer juice,” as my kids call it. In the words of Anthroposophy, very Ahrimanic.
Up next – the mountains!