I love to drive, and I particularly love to drive west. That is because when you drive west from Ohio you can see the country change — gradually, to be sure, but inexorably. You roll through the remainder of the Great Lakes region and past the Mississippi River, and you see the land flatten out and dry out. Then rolling hills arise, and they become rockier and craggier. The vistas become more sweeping, and the horizon retreats into the far distance. And then, at some point, the last spots of green are bleached from the landscape, and suddenly you recognize that you are entering the great western American desert.
I love that moment when you realize that you are truly in the west, in the land of browns and buttes, with the ground dessicated and cracked and the outline of the craggy mountains in sharp relief against the blue sky. I think it is some of the most beautiful country you can find anywhere. This edge of the desert photo was taken in Wyoming.