This year I’ve seen 20,000 beautiful, ugly miles of America.
13,500 from the window of a car.
6,500 from the window of a train.
In 23 states
I saw the endless cattle that feeds us
The horses that serve us
The bison that inspire us
The birds that supply us our daily soundtrack.
In 12 national parks
I saw the bones of dinosaurs
The sacred grounds of the Indigenous
Golden, slithering plains
And snow-capped mountains enveloped by big blue sky.
Across this great, awful nation
I saw families asking to make American great again
Or believing that we are stronger together
Or wanting a political revolution.
Throughout these 20,000 miles
I saw moments of weakness
And of hope.
Like the people of Timber Lake, South Dakota, population 443
Who insisted we join them for Thanksgiving dinner
On our way up to Standing Rock.
Like 84-year-old spitfire Winn Bundy