Breaking Trail (2)
In Cody Wyoming I step out of a coffee shop across from the Irma, a hotel/saloon. A rugged unshaven cowboy getting out of a large pick-up walks up to me. "Hey, your the man that walked across America." It is not a question.
"Out of all of the states, out of all of the miles and years you've walked across this U.S. of A. and you picked here to scratch out a home and write in?" He smiles hard enough to rise the peppered curtain draping over his upper lip. "Well, that there says something I tell you. Yes sir, That says a whole lot." We are standing where Sitting Bull once stood while considered the same setting sun. We are standing where Buffalo Bill Cody walked his horse toward the bar for another round of stories and moose steaks. We stand on historic land as we cut our heels across conversation about this big sky country; a place where grizzly and elk haunt the same mountains we saddle and pitch tents, and where a rifle in the rear window of a pick-up truck is as appropriate as a wide brim beaver hat weathered and riding three finger widths above our eyes.
Massachusetts is buried in ice and snow far behind me; buried like an outlaw gun. Seven months of too much solitude and a gnashing winter is over with few good-byes and no need for a rear view mirror. It was time to escape west between storms, between changes in political offices. I was born in the state of Melville and Rockwell, Thoreau and Emily Dickinson, and walked the liberty land of Lexington and Concord, and the harbor of the Boston Tea Party that apparently needs to be fed more tea. The nation is changing, and Massachusetts is lost in an ocean of anti Patriot laws and staggering taxation. Having walked the freedom road, I too have changed during my years without goverment regulation and wide open spaces. Ah, I've always colored outside the lines of the settlement. It was time to move to where some freedoms remain, and where six hundred thouusand people in the state of Wyoming mean less for mindless regulation. 5 people per square mile. FIVE. I think there are more horses than people here and a camper in every other yard. So much in this country is changing drastically. It is good to be under a wide forgiving sky, and know that for now I can breathe easier.