Maps

Boundary lines divide the sprawling country into little colored boxes; traceries of rivers wander over the page like wigglers darting across the still surface of a pond. Arrow lines of highways connect dots labeled Omak, Grassy Fork, Dime Box, like a child's puzzle, while the broken lines of roads that thump gravel on your car's undercarriage lead to country schoolhouses, grandfathers' farms. They may point you through deserts of saguaro or wind among crags to alpine meadows flaunting carpets of lupine, butterweed, Indian paintbrush; they may direct you to buried pirate's gold or to the living gold and scarlet of fall mountain forests. But once you learn to read them the fascination will hold you and you will put your trust forever in the makers of maps.

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