The road is straight and desolate; cars are few. I ride through Pine Ridge and continue on Highway 44, through towns that all begin with W: Wanblee, White River, Wood, Witten, Winner. The land is hot, beige. I feel tiny here.
The dry, brown earth extends wide and unobstructed; I don’t understand how it’s plotted, or who owns it, or what it’s used for. It stretches out lazily to each horizon like a mountain lion stretched in the sun, impossible to tame or own; it’s simply too wild and self-possessed. As I ride the pavement that cuts through this land like a gash, the wind and heat beat forcibly upon me, emissaries of the landscape to keep it pure of men.