Changing Landscapes

United States Travel Blog

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From Yellowstone National Park
The thing that struck me most about driving across the USA was the landscape. It changed frequently and dramatically. Within a few hours you can travel from forest to canyon-riddled deserts, to a wet and clear coast line. Everything is changing quickly across the American landscape. Empty desert roads warn you of flash-flooding, rock falls and slides are natural dangers of mountain passes, and in some places you can see the scars of disasters or recoveries past: burned forest land and the budding wildflowers, the bare earth of mudslides or avalanches springing new saplings, barren plains under a relentless drought with their ubiquitous tumbleweeds, or homes badly coping with the surrounding world. One theme was certain and universally visible: the natural processes of the world will recover from all damages. Indeed many seeming disasters proved, upon closer inspection, to be catalysts of growth and renewal. There is no dichotomy between the good and bad, "disaster" and "recovery". Instead the natural world is simply coping with what is thrown at it, and believe me the world and mankind throw plenty at it. But if life can thrive in the bubbling springs of Yellowstone, or the wheezing tundras of the Rocky Mountains, then surely it will survive anything and everything as though, geologically, it were nothing. That struck me, and I find it comforting. 
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