Here And There

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By LEE PITTS

IT’S THE PITTS

I’ve been in every state but feel most at home on the left side of the Mississippi. I’ve climbed all over the 17 western states, floated the Rogue, rode horseback on the Borderlands, know how to pronounce the capital of South Dakota, visited Cabelas in Nebraska, watched a rodeo in the Astrodome and the first World Series game ever in Kansas City. I froze my butt off in Aberdeen, been to a 4th of July rodeo in Prescott and the parade in Cayucos. I’ve never been to the Egyptian Pyramids but I’ve been to the one in Las Vegas where I also visited Paris and Venice, albeit with slot machines ringing.

I’ve haggled with Indians selling their jewelry at Four Corners, been to the castle in Castle Rock, slept out with the cowboys on the Bell, been to the top of the Space Needle, unknowingly fed the bears in Yellowstone and fished in the shadow of Half Dome. I’ve seen and felt the west’s haunting beauty in the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion and I know you can’t possibly understand my part of the world by just visiting Disneyland on vacation.

This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the East. I spent a week on the beautiful beach in Rehobeth, traipsed all over Florida and visited my brother at West Point on the Hudson. It may be a glittering generality but there are more symptoms of civilization in the East, more tall buildings, toll roads and government offices. The East is more about history while the West is more about the landscape. The East is Arlington and Gettysburg, while the West is the Little Bighorn.

 

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