Sunday, January 11, 2009

Into the Hills

Yesterday I made one of my infrequent runs down to the county dump. It used to be that every ranch had a dump or two right on the home place, but various state and federal agencies have made this a thing of the past. Probably not such a bad thing, but it sure makes things a little inconvenient.

Anyway, I've always been fascinated by lines of demarcation in topography, and how often they seem to coincide, or nearly so, with state lines. While not a state line, I live about twenty miles north of such a demarcation. About twelve miles north of the county seat, and twenty-some miles from my place you go down a steep grade, cross a small creek (would be a river in some parts of the country), mount a steep uphill grade, and you are suddenly and immediately in a different world.

South of the creek there is flat table-land, cropland, and trees. North of the creek you are in the legendary "Hills." (Seems funny to me but townfolk talk about the "hills" in tones of dread: "Oh, I never go up in them Hills!")

But it is different country, for sure. No cropland, population of few or none save for buffalo, cattle, deer, and antelope. And sweet, blissful peace and isolation.

The picture above is looking almost due west. A line drawn straight west from where the photographer stands would run for almost a hundred miles without crossing a hard road or coming within miles of a habitation. Except for cross-fencing every few miles, it's country like it used to be.

1 comment:

john beard said...

Is the "badlands" I have read about?