Tuesday, March 26, 2013

There Have Several False Springs so Far

I have been sucked into a few of them myself, allowing myself to relax in the thought that the truly cold days were over until Thanksgiving only to find that this wasn't the case.  Still I know in my bones that this day, dully chill but sunny and lacking wind, is the real beginning of the uphill climb.  It was the dream I had this morning that told me.  I was driving from North Platte to Benkleman, Nebraska.  It was late summer and everything was dryly dead but also beautiful blond, and I woke up knowing that my land has begun its journey to this particular state.


I've only been through Benkleman ever once, when I was taking a slower route to Denver for pleasure and discovery's sake.  It wasn't actually all that pleasurable.  The towns of Eastern Colorado along Hwy 34: Yuma, Akron, Wray, all have a depressing, dust-blasted look to them.  One that might be quaintly described as 'frontier' or more accurately apocalyptic except no not even that.  It isn't the case that this is a dead land that used to be alive.  Not even the Natives are native to this particular ground, they never tried to live where there wasn't any water, that's fantastically stupid.  It was the Yankee railroads who needed the illusion of their lines going somewhere; and the towns along the line were peopled with the hope of gleening the leftovers of Denver-to-Chicago commerce.  The good old days when these villages had any vitality at all lasted less than half a human life span and have been gone now for nearly a full one.  It shows. 

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