Random thoughts while driving across Montana

The drone of the truck motor, the whine of tires on the road as it treadmills out of sight under the windshield, lending a dimension of realness to the endless video we're driving into, through. Some say it's painfully boring... that it's justification for an 80 mile per hour speed limit in order to minimize the pain of long miles with nothing but flat land, dry sage, stubble grass, and, here and there, a few cattle.

But like most all places this one is loaded with a quietly fading "small" history if one takes the time to think about it. The pile of debris over there might be the ruins of a barn or a small cabin. Someone built it. Someone worked and struggled to give form to their plans. So much hope and passion wrapped up in each one. Yet so much uncertainty and danger at the same time. It may have represented the beginnings of a better life, of a self-reliant adequate existence, perhaps even riches if things worked out right... if their god looked favorably on their efforts. Or, as was often the case, utter failure was the result. They were so strong, so willing to take risks. Or, perhaps, they just had to do what they did because there was no alternative?

Some deny there's any history here at all, especially when compared to Europe or other places with "big" history. But to deny the past, or to deny it has any meaning is, I think, somewhat myopic. One may not like the smallness of this history, but it was important stuff to those who made it. And to the curious few who wonder about it.