The girl took her sister’s hand to help her into the car for a long ride just as the last minutes of darkness hushed their voices to sleepy good mornings all around and a gaze at setting suns very far away, with the quiet rumble of the engine accelerating tires over pavement. The Guide West talks of hours on the road and history. There are machines in the field, listening to the space above the sky just a few hours northwest of here. The girls are asleep. The radio is on at low volume. The Guide West says avoid the news and embrace what’s been before. The radio plays the oldest songs to be found.
The Guide West is prosaic. No map indicates places of interest. It is only by reading through the long histories of men and women of the west and how the train and theme park were invented that any notion of direction can be deciphered. Out west, a house was made to replicate a prehistoric home, to sell comforts of the east and authentic artistry to rail travelers. The guide west says, if you must you may find one map there and clues to other maps can be parsed from other sites too.
The first map was figured to be found in a valley of radio telescopes. The array was found by driving in circles in search of pie. By a cow guard, pavement and grass wedded the boundary where no cow conquered. The cow guard was worn and it took a while to sit and watch the sunlight angle through the edges of the steel grate. There, along the edge the image of the highway formed and the children tossed small rocks between the slats. The map was transferred to gravel. Then the replicant map was stamped out of existence by tires on gravel. The children were buckled with snacks in hand ready to continue onward until a more proper dining option was found.
Lunch was prepared in part from store bought groceries and leftover stains on picnic tables. The stains fell from sandwiches and burritos and from the birds perched in pines. The green wilderness was a cool repose en route to the fallen fossil forest out west. The Guide West painted it as must see.
The Guide West is full of three lefts and three rights type stories in order to get the reader lost in the changing colors of mountain passes and desert. That is how this band of discoveries was made. Water bottles marked the way from volcanoes to desert to Chaco and trains. Trains are speeding guardians encouraging further expedition to find things like holes in the Earth out west. From Kilbourne to Barringer to the Grand Canyon, the car speeds on and calluses on heels rest until another western sunset and sunrise mark the trail.