The Great Divide

6 Oct

The strangest thing was moving through timezones. The idea was immaterial and intangible. There were signs demarcating that you had just gained an hour. Or lost one. Men playing God with your time. Men carving up the land and airspace into temporal parcels. I couldn’t understand the ethereal divisions intellectually. Who said the time line was here and not a mile down the road? Geology, satellites, seismology, maps or…
The sun?
(If you spend enough time alone moving west you begin to think you can catch it.)
There was one placard in western New Mexico saying I was leaving the Atlantic Ocean watershed and traversing into the Pacific terrain: over the Continental Divide at eighty miles per hour. There were grey areas that were endorheic basins that did not drain to the ocean. Those were delimited as well.

I asked an old Apache man at a gas station near the Gila River if he would trade his cowboy hat for my tuque.
I bought Kachina dolls and arrowheads.
I sent postcards from Tucumcari and Gallup.
I stole rocks and sediment from Meteor Crater, 20 miles out of Winslow. I was extremely hungry. That was before they put a Subway outside the gift shop.
I ate fatty chicken soup in a small cup at a truckers’ rest stop in Kingman.
I heard Lute Olson on radio talk about his win against Arizona State.
I heated up Chef Boyardee pasta on a portable burner in a small hotel room in Duckwater, Nevada.
And in the Mojave Valley, just south of Bullhead City and crossing into California, the sign said I’d gained another hour to my day.
The sign said that.

I crossed at Needles into Pacific time. Three hours behind someone.


4 Responses to “The Great Divide”

  1. Cliff Burns 06/10/2008 at 11:23 AM #

    “Three hours behind someone…”

    LOVE that tag line. Very mysterious. Like Monte Hellman’s “The Shooting”–pursuing someone who always seems to remain one hill, one valley ahead of you.

    NICE, Alex…

  2. (S)wine 07/10/2008 at 6:45 AM #

    Thanks Cliff. Same goes with the sun; I always feel like I’m running after it, knowing full well what will happen if I ever catch it.

  3. ttt 18/10/2008 at 1:21 PM #

    good post

  4. (S)wine 18/10/2008 at 1:25 PM #

    Thanks ttt.

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