The great silence

Gerelateerde afbeelding

The high valley was fringed with junipers, and, from its eastern rim, presented a view that would impress an astronaut. To look from left to right was to see a hundred and fifty miles, from the Uinta Mountains to the Wind River Range, interspersed with badlands. The badlands were late-Eocene river muds and sands chaotically distributed on top of the filled-in lake, and now being further strewn about at the whim of cloudbursts. In the center of the high swale were the silvery-gray remains of zakelijke energie vergelijken hundreds of cut trees, which had been dragged into the open and arranged as a fence in kidney-bean shape, all but enclosing about fifteen acres. Vaguely, they formed a double corral, with an aperture in one place only, and had apparently been used-for uncounted years-to trap antelopes. Antelopes don’t climb fences, as people fond of roast pronghorn discovered centuries ago. Love’s son Charlie, the professor of anthropology and geology at Western Wyoming Community College, knew of the trap and had thought out the strategies by which it was effective. His father expressed pride in Charlie for “thinking as intelligently as the aborigines.” The high valley held fast an aesthetic silence-a silence reminiscent of the Basin and Range, a silence equal to the winter Yukon. About the only sign of humankind was the antelope trap. This was the Overthrust Belt as it had appeared before white people-thinking intelligently but not like the aborigines-mapped the terrain, modelled its structure, and went after what lay beneath it. There were mountain bluebells and salt sage in the valley, ground phlox and prickly pear. Love zakelijke energie reached down and plucked up a plant and asked if I knew what it was. It looked familiar, and I said, “Wild onion.” He said, “It’s death camas. It brings death quickly. It killed many pioneer children. They thought it looked like wild onion.” Suddenly, the great silence was smashed by running gunfire as two four-wheel-drive vehicles, each with a lone rider, appeared over the western rim and thundered up the valley, leaving behind them puffs of blue smoke.

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