10 October 2010
a swath of land
The word "swath" was created for the amount of land you can see driving across Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.
You look out to the end of the world, and there you are, miles and miles from the edge. In between are canyons, rattlesnakes, cowboy dreams, sagebrush, flash floods, and layers of geologic wonder.
You hear in the videos they show at national parks and national monuments that a lot of the West used to be sand dunes, and before that, an ocean.
Numbers like 100 million—as in 100 million years ago—are thrown around, but there you are, driving on an asphalt highway, flying through time and history at 65 mph.
The West puts you in your place, your little dot of a place, and it makes you thankful that you have a place.