Though English riding has much of its origin in hunts across the fields of rural estates, the sport is just as often trained indoors—particular at spacetime junctures like Salt Lake City on Christmas Eve.
Along Interstate 80, stretches of winter Wyoming are wide and barren like I wouldn’t have believed.
In a few stretches, mountains or wind farms crop up in the distance.
But it’s perhaps this image of an orange house, like something from a mid-twentieth-century landscape painting, that best captures the experience.
Transcontinental driving in the dead of winter is all about dodging storms—but no one’s perfect. In the emptiness of Western Nevada, with only an occasional RV/farm combo to keep us company, the edge of a major storm ran into the setting sun.
“Post-apocalyptic” was the general vibe. The landscape was so large as to be without scale; I couldn’t tell you the actual height of the hills in the distance.
Even on this bright afternoon before a winter blizzard clamped down on central Wyoming, the cold and isolation of the state is astonishing. Each homestead seems mostly isolated, and the rolling hills give the illusion that the curvature of the Earth has been flipped inside-out. First settlers on a ringworld?
Road tripping across America an experience both dramatic and (in the age of Interstate highways) mundane. When I made this trip three years ago, I documented it in a photoessay. Traveling the reverse direction, from the sprawl of the East Coast to the wide-open West, has been a more dramatic experience. The downside? Making the trip at the Winter Solstice has meant much less time each day for capturing the experience.