As The Ogallala Road begins, I have returned to Kansas to research the watershed where I was born and raised. I begin in what we called “the canyon pasture.” A canyon in that part of the country is not quite as dramatic as a canyon in say Utah. On a trip to Kansas this summer, I took this picture of a place that reminded me of what it looked like.
From the book, a Canyon flashback:
Once, we heard a buzzing sound and jumped back from the bush I’d been about to reach beneath. A tongue-flicking, tail-rattling snake lay coiled at our feet. Its vibrant, diamond-shaped head bobbed in the air, mouth open, fangs bared.
“Why is it wiggling its tongue at us?” I asked.
“That’s how it smells you,” said Bruce. Also my elder, but closer to my age than Clark, he loved nothing more than goading me.