My bus now is parked beside a grove of trees in North Carolina following a long trip across the country. Winter is coming. It is time to take a break. Time to write a book.
|My brother Will hosts a beef bourguignon dinner at his|
home near Gettysburg on the eve of his 70th birthday.
The country in September had an hushed tone prelude to melancholy autumn, as though it sensed the coming of a bitter election and a rampaging storm that would savage the east.
There were complaints In Dodge City, Kansas, Mike Casey, owner of Casey's Cowtown Steakhouse and Club sat down at our table.
Back at the Gunsmoke Trav-L-Park at the edge of Dodge where we are staying two roustabouts from the booming oil fields of North Dakota pull in.
"Good pay and a lot of work up there," one says. "But no place to stay or even park an RV. Crazy."
They were at Casey's the night before and will try Montana Mike's, another steakhouse, this night. Although the RV park is almost full we find it is for sale.
It seems everyone wants to get out of Dodge these days, a city that in six years, from 1872 to 1878, shipped 3 million buffalo hides on the railroad that ran through and gave it birth. Later it became a shipping center for beef as ranchers moved in and replaced the bison with cattle. For miles in all directions today are feedlots, some stretching almost to the horizon.
America has a beef habit and Kansas feeds it. In the morning we start our little four-cylinder engine and push on.
|Bosque del Apache -- the bus stops here|
During the night the desolate sound of trains passing by, sounding their horns as hey carry coal southto El Paso.
We leave early the next day en route to Santa Fe. We feast at a Mexican restaurant on Cerrillos Road, Tortilla Flats, drink dark beer and go to bed exhausted.
|Cranes, like airborne origami, at sunrise.|
Please see Tibetan Contemporary Masters.
Bau is an easy-going guy who sits on the window sill and talks not about art but about living.
"I can't believe this is what I am doing every day, coming here. This isn't work. This is life as I thought life should be."
There is much to see and do in Santa Fe — and we do. But there is a long journey ahead. Almost 2000 miles. So we head north to El Santuario del Chamiyo halfway on the way to Taos where miracles are said to have happened. And where we meet Father Casimiro Roca, a 94-year-old priest, who says the church will not let him retire.