7 F., 7 ” of snow and 7 minutes south of 7 A.M., I’m feeling lucky. In the predawn darkness, the sign indicates Dalhart, Tx., Ten Miles. At this hour the sign is hardly necessary. The distant horizon is bisected by the corona of Dalhart.Across the expanse, lights create an eerily straight line separating heaven and earth. Some flicker red or amber or yellow or the halogen warning strobe from the cell towers and the grain elevators. Lights bounce from a monster Ford diesel truck, a Southern Pacific engine entourage followed by a hundred Chinese shipping containers on flatbeds, and on the left, an airstrip welcomes a wealthy cattleman in his flickering Cessna 182. The west Texas panhandle….where have all the cowboys gone ?On long drives down lonely highways do you ever wonder how you became the person you are ? Why do you prefer freedom to money ? Why are you happiest in old flannel clothes ? Why do you wonder the names of birds, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, and weeds ? Why would you choose to live in a place where you can see a million stars on clear nights, but can’t buy a frozen pizza without driving 40 miles ? An endless panorama of prairie, bordered by stoic stick-figured telephone lines, sentinels in the wind, the search for zest, authenticity and simplicity comes naturally. Being alone is not lonely. Even the red tailed hawks took the day off. The Artic (sic) RV Park, Boise City, Ok. Closed, but cool.
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