Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
From Wyoming to Phoenix Topography December 9, 2009
Before we begin this, remember this is one nation.
We are going to look at scenery of 1600 miles of roadside from a car traveling at speed limits. Two aspects to prove the point of one nation, one, what the early forces left, and two, what civilization has done with the land. We will look at open land topography not what the cities look like but at the open country between cities. Through my eyes and with my thinking we will see the beauty of Godâ€™s creation.
The part of the nation between the Rocky Mountains on the west and the
Appslachian Mountains to the east are the oldest parts of the land. Portions of continents broke away and drifted into our continent. Huge glaciers, mighty windstorms, changing temperatures turned the central portion into a great inland sea. The lands where we live carry evidence of water moving in great quantity and force.
Coming down from North to South, from Wyoming to St Louis, the topography is quite similar, from rolling hills, to a few mountains and lots of flat prairie. Corn and beans line the way, giving evidence of the difficult growing season, lots of unpicked corn and unthreshed beans. Ponds of water remind us of a very wet growing season. There were little signs of animals, a few herds or confined feeding corrals. As I wrote in an earlier column, Godâ€™s beautiful creation is present to those who see beauty.
We crossed the Mississippi at St Louis into the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. Forested hills lined the roads, we drove through open land growing corn and beans, and a rolling hills view is present. The trees are both deciduous and evergreen. Again what cropland to be seen told us of high rainfall, about half of the crops were not harvested. This brought us to Joplin, Missouri.
From Joplin, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma, we are still in the foothills of the Ozarks. There were open spaces and some beef cattle.
Then, a few miles west of Tulsa, open prairie! This old plainsman looked out to miles and miles of space! This was largely grass land so there were herds of beef cattle, I saw Angus, Hereford and Durham. The herds were large and as we moved along I saw several ranch signs. The trees that lined this part of the trip had been thinned out, lower limbs trimmed and bushes cut away. This told me that the forestry people were active in this part of Oklahoma. There had been less rainfall along here, I observed that farm ponds were not overflowing as those we saw earlier.
West of Oklahoma City the land turned to largely farming. I saw unharvested soy bean fields, so there has been excess moisture here. The beauty of the plains is here, People talk about nothing to see, but we need to appreciate that Godâ€™s creative work is here as well among the pine and deciduous trees in eastern Oklahoma and Missouri.
In Western Oklahoma we saw sand hills, those great hills of sand, few low trees. Here the mark of the ancient flood waters reminds us of the power of a world being formed. Still this is our nation as are farm lands.
Very old mountains begin to show, where they are cuts for the highway, one can see indications of different eras, there were red rock layers, clay and sandstone. Some of the layers were very thick, others quite thin.
We spent the night in Gallup, New Mexico, and woke up to snow! It was very light, but still snow, we traveled in and out of snow squalls all the way to Flagstaff up thousands of feet before going back down to Phoenix
Coming out of Gallup, New Mexico there were buttes, and large mountains, that looked as if the large rocks had been piled on one another. The civilization here is American Indian.
The end of our trip, we drove down the cold snowy mountain from thousands of feet to the desert of warmth, to rocks and cactus, to wide open spaces with sparse shrubs and grass, in its own way that desert is a beauty, again, Godâ€™s creation.
From beginning to end, the changing topography, going from corn and beans to desert life, the American people are warm and friendly. Life styles and occupations are many but the people were helpful. We are one nation.
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