. We had seen real rodeos and had beautiful summer evenings doing magnificent s-turns down the slopes of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming and out through the flat speed of the basin. But now we were in the parts of the country that no one wanted-- dry desert and wastelands partitioned off for Native American reservations. Tumbleweed, parched earth, everywhere the landscape faded in the desert sun. There was no glory of the American West here. Vastness did not mean unlimited possibilities-- it meant vacancy, bloodshot eyes and bloodshot lives-- eyes from which all fire had long ago died. Gas stops were suffocating and we craved the wind and relative comfort of riding. The road, travel, and the sheer act of motion itself were all somehow tied to survival here. Speed was above all else, the great American solvent-- to cure all woes, to overwhelm all loss and transiency with the suggestion of new vistas and unlimited horizions and possibilities.