Learning and Adjusting on the Road

IMG_5576Missoula   One advantage of driving 2200 miles over 30 hours is that over the course of the journey, we are able to decompress and begin the process of environmental adaptation from urban chaos to…well, rural chaos.

So much for the sedentary life of an office and hustling to the gym every day in the city, when there’s a Suburban tire to lift and change, stumps to move and position, a trailer to tape, butane and propane tanks to wrangle about, and wood to chop, all of which are good reminders that we were built for something different on the evolutionary cycle other than swivel chairs and computer keys.

And, if you think our breeding comes out, you should have seen the speed Lucha mustered in chasing her first rabbit out of the campsite on Rock Creek – greased lighting doesn’t quite compare, but the hare is still faster than the Australian shepherd!IMG_5580

Also good to remember and struggle with things out of the everyday.

What is a polled Hereford other than a cow?   Turns out it’s a Hereford bred over the last 100 years without horns, and that was probably a tip-top English idea with an American adaptation it turns out.

Rolling through eastern Colorado from the Texas panhandle, it’s time for a brush up on the differences between a “mesa” and a “butte.”  The simplest rule of thumb is that a butte has less square footage at the top than the bottom, and a mesa is more likely to have about the same.  I’m not saying that is what the geologists would say, but this will keep friends from being embarrassed in the west.

And once you hit Wyoming and the wind is blowing even a 2-ton Suburban loaded to the gills along the road, you might stumble over whether to call the soaring formations reaching up to the sky anticlines or synclines.  Really, you’ve never been troubled by that?   Well, the anticlines are raising the ground to the sky, and the synclines are the stretches between the arms, if you will allow that.

Despite what you might think moraines are talked about in the West even though they are more common in the Midwest (hello, Minnesota!).  Moraines are what are left in the dirt pile after the glaciers move through.  Sort of a boil on the earth’s surface filled with loose rocks, dirt, and everything that didn’t move.

And, if you are going to get up in the middle of the night, why not have the experience sometime in your life of looking up in the western sky and seeing a shooting star bolting in the night?  You owe it to yourself.

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