A Long, Lonesome Look at America


I used to be just a few days acceptable associated related related related associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated related associated related acceptable associated related related associated related related related associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated related associated related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated associated acceptable related associated related related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related associated associated related related associated related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated associated related associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable related related related related associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated associated related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related associated associated associated related associated acceptable associated related associated related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related related related related acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related associated associated related associated associated related related associated related associated associated related acceptable associated related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable related related related related related related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related associated related associated associated related related associated related related related related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable related associated related related related related related related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related associated associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable related associated related related related related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related related associated related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable related associated associated related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related related associated related related associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated related related associated related related related related related related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated associated related associated associated related related associated related related acceptable associated related acceptable associated associated related associated associated associated related associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related related associated related associated related related acceptable associated related associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated related acceptable related associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related associated related related associated related associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related related related related associated related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable related related related associated related related associated associated related associated related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable right associated acceptable right acceptable associated right acceptable acceptable right correct proper right into a meandering journey all by America, and already I used to be easing into one draw as shortly as further of a nighttime routine. Earlier all by the day I’d pinpointed a promising campsite in Ozark National Forest. Now, I discovered myself ascending an remoted forestry freeway to get to it, my tires crackling over its terribly ambiance good, potholed flooring.

When I am unable to take heed to the freeway noise from the scenic freeway that carried me into the mountains, I discovered a small clearing all by the woods, shimmied my automotive acceptable related related related associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated related associated related acceptable associated related related associated related related related associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated related associated related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated associated acceptable related associated related related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related associated associated related related associated related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated associated related associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable related related related related associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated associated related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related associated associated associated related associated acceptable associated related associated related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related related related related acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related associated associated related associated associated related related associated related associated associated related acceptable associated related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable related related related related related related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related associated related associated associated related related associated related related related related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable related associated related related related related related related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related associated associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable related associated related related related related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related related associated related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable related associated associated related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related related associated related related associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated related related associated related related related related related related related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated associated related associated associated related related associated related related acceptable associated related acceptable associated associated related associated associated associated related associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related related associated related associated related related acceptable associated related associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated related acceptable related associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related associated related related associated related associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related related related related associated related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable related related related associated related related associated associated related associated related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable right associated acceptable right acceptable associated right acceptable acceptable right correct proper right into a stage place and climbed into the as shortly as further. Gathering my tenting differ, I stepped exterior associated related associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated related associated associated related associated associated associated acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated associated related associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable associated associated associated related associated related related acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated associated acceptable associated related related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated associated related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated acceptable related associated associated associated associated associated associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related associated acceptable related associated associated related associated associated related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related related related acceptable acceptable related associated associated related associated related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related related related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable related related acceptable associated acceptable associated associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated associated associated acceptable associated associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related related acceptable associated acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable related related associated associated acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related related associated related related related acceptable associated acceptable associated associated associated related associated related associated acceptable associated associated associated associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated associated related associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related associated associated associated related associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related related associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated related associated associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated right associated acceptable right proper into a light-weight rainfall and, beneath a tall cowl of bushes, lit the burner.

All evening time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time time I’d been enveloped in a thick foggy haze: not comparatively tons of to see, wipers working full tilt. I hadn’t interacted with anybody in days, and now even the panorama was hidden from view. But the rain letting up — ample on this small glade, at least, for me to warmth a pot of water for a solitary cup of tea. In the morning, I believed, if elements cleared, there’d even be hope of seeing the encircling mountains of their autumnal glory.

So it went, it appears, with fairly pretty just some 2020: our lives — and our nation — enveloped in a haze of uncertainty, with out our realizing whether or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or 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not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not or not the following day would carry a modicum of assist or a deepening of our solitude.

In October I set off on a go to to witness and doc this singular second in American historic earlier — to look quietly and intently at our nation, to parse its ambiance.

On many of my previous trips across the country, my spirits have been buoyed by the fleeting social interactions that occur sporadically throughout the day — at diners, motels, knickknack shops, campgrounds.

Traveling in isolation, though, was a categorically different experience.

Even in the casual places where travelers still gathered — gas stations, coffee shops, rest areas — there were generally no offhand conversations, no sharing of experiences, no sense of spontaneous connection. Strangers transacted and, still strangers, went their separate ways.

Without the promise of social interaction, the landscape itself — both natural and built — became my focus.

Often it felt like a companion. Often it felt like a manuscript, open to interpretation.

Reviewing the photographs from my trip, I found that my eyes were drawn to projections of my own isolation: lone structures, unpeopled scenes, solitary sets of tire tracks.

Looking outward, I saw within.

Our country’s political divisions were also omnipresent — in the form of yard signs, flags, billboards.

In some places, the public posturing read like communal declarations. More than at other points in recent memory, businesses (as opposed solely to individuals or residences) seemed to trumpet their political affiliations.

There was, of course, an endless array of beauty. Gazing at the sandstone arches in eastern Utah, standing silently over the pristine waters of the McDonald Creek in northern Montana, looking out at a herd of bison in Southern Colorado, I saw the sublimity and the precariousness of our natural treasures reflected in their own forms.

In many ways the trip felt like an extended ode to such places — our national forests in particular.

Startled by the cold and beckoned by the Montanan scenery, I opted for an early start, descending the mountains north toward Missoula. I fell into an early-morning trance — until, 20 minutes later, I saw a fellow traveler who’d pulled his car to the side of the road and exited it. He was staring into the distance.

I turned to my left, in the direction of his gaze, and saw Trapper Peak, purple and majestic, dressed in unspeakable beauty. Somehow, inexplicably, I hadn’t noticed its grandeur.

I pressed the brakes and slowed to a stop some 100 feet away. I, too, exited my car and stood alongside the road.

Together in solitude, we took in the scene.



Source link Nytimes.com

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