The West is Not Such a Wild Place

Photos by Laurel Noble

Two majestic lanes of symmetrical tarmac each way. It's an asphalt road just like any other. Concrete, rebar, and tar laying over dirt. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

There isn't much around it, as is the case with many road you've already been on. Well, nothing of note. Deserts, urban jungles, and forests all have one thing in common. They are pretty goddamn beautiful.

So you take it into consideration that the vastness of such a place, where objects are much further than they appear. Looking forward, you feel that mountain is within arms reach is actually on the other side of the motherfucking planet. Trying to quantify it in some sort of unit of measurement you can understand - a block, avenue, or even a football field is futile. This is a land of miles and acres, one that denies your conception of time and space.

Finally at a stop, quiet consumes you. Whispering winds grace your ears as the V-Twin thud begins to fade away. Unbutton your jacket, take off your helmet, you’re going to have to stay a while on this one. There are others that stop near you, all with the same look on their faces. Neither muttering a word to one another, nor a glance or a nod…. but you’re all see the same thing and experiencing it in your own unique ways.

The colors seem like droplets of dye that somehow chromafied the otherwise bleak colossal goat fuck of grey and beige that continues hundred of miles  around. And somehow, the nature of it all is so unnatural. The beauty takes you back. You're speechless. All the while, slowly you realize one cardinal rule. Why the fuck did humans come here? Travelling west, the land is only screaming out, go home… there is nothing for you this far west. A city sprouts out from the distance. You have arrived at Las Vegas. The message is clear. A point well made that you are at the gates of hell and all your friends are waiting for you inside.

It’s time to turn the bike around. More dirt to see, sun to soak in, and gas to burn. The roar of the motorcycle breaks sound of the pattering stones skimming your shins as the dry wind blows past you at speeds that you have yet to fathom. The tarmac has little sway or variety now. It simply continues until your arrival. Only there it ends.