I thought I’d blog my Oklahoman adventure, an installment at a time….
Well, to get to the Amtrak station, I had to travel from Wynne to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. My cousins drove me, and we left about mid-afternoon. I live in an area that is flat field land , but it can still be beautiful.
The area I live in was once covered by the ocean, millions of years ago, with Crowley’s Ridge being the shoreline. Several thousand millennia later, the ocean had receded, and we were blessed with an abundance of ancient rivers which cut out so much of our Ozark and Ouachita mountains. When you know what to look for, you can can see the reminders left behind in the turned soil of the fields and farmlands.
Some people look at the dirt and just think “blech”… dirt. I watch the rolling furloughs and see the different shades of History the ground changes to as I pass by. It may be a red clay, sometimes gray, almost the color of concrete, and then I can see it go from a drab mousy shade of brown to a crisp, rich swath of ebony black. Those are the ancient river beds. When I have the windows down, especially just after a rain, I can even smell the difference. I can see it too, in the crops that lie in those beds. They are lusher, taller, fuller, greener… and I think about what must have been there then. The animals that came to those ancient rivers to drink. Who hunted them? Was it an Indian tribe, or was it an earlier man? Was it even mammal that drank from the river, or something much older, and pre-historic in nature? What would I find if I dug just a little deeper, going below the disced and plowed topsoil turned over by modern machinery? Another mammoth, perhaps?
Do you know, they have already found the remains of 11 mammoths on that ridge? I can only imagine what else lies buried and hidden beneath the surface….
And that was before I even boarded the train….