Warmer temperatures in Kentucky mean the welcome return of the shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops regalia.

We go north, then south, then north again, moving generally eastward with each latitudinal jog. Soon we’ll be in coal country West Virginia. The landscape is already changing (again).

I’m reading Lonesome Dove. Have been reading it for longer than necessary but I stalled a couple times before the halfway point. I remember talking to my dad about literary genres, and he said that if you only ever read one western it should be Lonesome Dove (those little Louis L’Amour tomes were more his jam, because it’s what his dad read, I suppose). I’ve had it on the Kindle for years, and we were somewhere without connectivity so I landed on it while picking through what I had on-hand and un-read.

And, as much as I’ve grown attached to the colorful characters, I’m also fascinated by the description of the cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Particularly the geographic details, crossing rivers and plains and where the towns are and how things like weather and random chance effect the journey. Its honestly my favorite part of the book, the “man vs. nature” parts.

It reminds me of us at the moment, thinking about where we’re going in terms of getting to and getting past cites or mountain ranges or major rivers. Without having driven across this country several times now, I don’t think I’d have near as much appreciation for how absolutely critical rivers are to where people settled and cities grew large.

This country is incredible. Truly amazing when seen from the road or experienced by walking through it. In Call and Gus’s time, it was a lot more dangerous to travel through, but now we simply drive all the comforts of home wherever we want – at the press of a gas pedal.


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