The endless velvet drapery of the High Plains. As if a well-worn, flowered coverlet had been dropped from a great height onto the dunes and then settled around them like a new skin. From the top of one of these hills you can see miles and miles of the same thing: hill after hill marching off to the far horizon. Sometimes you can make out a smudge of greenery that would be the trees of an abandoned ranchstead. For every one that is still occupied, there are twenty that are slowly sinking back into the earth as they are reclaimed by the flora and fauna that have always been here. It took them almost a hundred years to do it, but the Big Ranchers have finally won. Well, almost. There are still a few holdouts. In my sometimes flawed optimism I think there will always be a few holdouts.
But when even the Big Ranchers are gone, the hills will still be here.