Looking north just east of Milagro, NM.
Pinyon-juniper woodlands and shortgrass prairie, near the ecotone where, as we descend east, the trees will give way to the grasslands.
At the rest stop west of Santa Rosa, NM, a red-rock canyon composed of brilliant shales, as we descend into the Pecos River Valley.
Rio Grande Valley. Pecos Valley. Later the Canadian. As we go eastward, each river valley will be lower by thousands of feet than the last, as we drive down the incline of the alluvium from the Rockies and Basin and Range.
Grain elevator east of Amarillo on the Texas Panhandle.
We had driven into a frontal system, clouds and fog.
We drove into the night in Oklahoma, talking and talking, learning to understand each other with respect to all of the issues that will be argued at the Continental Congress. We found ourselves to be sympatico.
In the morning, a water tower in Rolla, Missouri, on the east slopes of the Ozark Dome. Hardwood forests in these low, very old mountains: Maple, Walnut, Oak.
Bare tree on a hilltop west of St. Louis, where the Ozarks are interrupted by the Mississippi River.
They continue into Southern Illinois more weathered still at the edge of the dome; and in Kentucky and Tennessee, meeting the the Appalachians.
Across the 'Father of Waters' (not pictured--we could not pull over), in the coal and oil country of Southern Illinios, we stopped.
The flag is at half-staff to honor the fallen soldiers murdered in Texas. Tomorrow, on Veterans Day, we will renew our oaths to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Woods and pond at a rest stop south of Springfield, Illinois. The clouds were closing in, and we drove through intermittent, heavy rain until it cleared from the west near Joliet, Illinois.
Every time I make this drive, I think about the vastness and diversity of the United States and the uniqueness of the North American Continent.
Stretching from Atlantic to Pacific, the geographic and geological diversity is stunning, as is the regional diversity of the people. An amazing place.
And a fitting way to enter into the frame of mind needed to do our part to restore the Constitution that creates out of that diversity fifty sovereign states, which together create these United States.
E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.