My son took a Ranger job (law enforcement) at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Since he needs a car, I rode with him and flew home after making time to see the park. Five nights (and about 5 1/2 days) on the road covering about 2,800 miles. His Honda Prelude did great, averaging about 28 mpg although weighted down and stuffed to the gills. Fathers and sons don't need to talk too much to have a great time together, but we covered some important topics and saw one route through this great country from almost sea to shining sea.
Yes, we are still in the Bush recession, but this is a nation on the move by planes, trains, automobiles, and trucks. We've always been a nation on the move... but closely following trails used by Oregon, California, and Mormon settlers (according to a historical marker their early expedition had about 140 men and just a few women... they've changed those odds!), I realize my tired butt was a minor inconvenience compare to their hardships. Not to mention the time required for the trip!
The U.S.A. is one fantastic country, built and being constantly rebuilt, by every day folks driving the trucks, working on the farms, serving up meals in the diners, making stuff in factories, and teaching the kids in public schools. While we are a nation of great natural and human diversity, there is much that is common all across this land - from the fast food restaurants and Home Depots found in even the small towns to the hopes and dreams of everyday folks.Yes, there is indeed an American Dream!
Old fashioned windmills still help to lift water for livestock in Nebraska. We passed several over-sized tractor-trailers carrying modern windmill blades and other parts and drove through large modern windfarms in western states.
Mormons passed this way heading for the Great Salt Lake.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is the site of land speed records. The 30,000 acres are administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
We spotted this long-lived dust devil near Denio Junction in northern Nevada. Most dust devils dissipate in a few minutes, but this one lasted at least 20 minutes and stayed fairly stationary.
Crater Lake is breathtaking and defies words.
In an age when special interests already hold tremendous influence over policy makers and just after the Supreme Court gave corporations the right to infuse more stifling cash and influence into our politics, it is all the more important to remember our democracy is for the people... even the little guys/gals who don't pay much attention to the daily goings on in Washington, D.C. or the state capitols while they make this country work each and every day.
Bruce Springsteen performs Woody Guthie's classic, This Land is Your Land, live at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA on September 30, 1985 during his Born In The U.S.A. tour). A poignant reminder that "this land was made for you and me."