April 2009
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Billie Silvey
Scenery
of the
American
West
When I started work on this website,
our family had a spirited discussion of
just which states comprise the West.  
Of course, it all depends on the
historical period you’re talking
about.  Over time, the line has moved
west with the settlers.  Now, however,
it seems to span the states of Arizona,
New Mexico, Texas, Colorado,
Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, Idaho
and Utah, give or take a couple more.
The American West is a vast
panorama stretching from the Great
Plains through the Rocky Mountains
to the painted deserts.  Sculpted by
wind, ice and water into fantastical
shapes, the land is harsh and
unforgiving, as travelers from the
Donner Party to modern-day
immigrants have discovered to their
dismay.
But its rugged beauty
captures your imagination.  
You can almost hear the
creak of wagon wheels, the
low of cattle and the hoots of
cowboys and Indians in the
silence.
The scenery of the West is one
of the elements that linger with
you when you see Ken Burns's
special,
The West, on PBS.  
The series includes several
historic photographs depicting
a solitary individual dwarfed by
the vast landscape.
And there’s all that sky—bright
blue or piled with white clouds, dark
and green before a storm, or painted
with all the warm hues of a paint pot at
sunset.  At night, there are so many
stars the sky seems heavy with them.
Texas
Colorado
New Mexico
Arizona
Texas
Wyoming
Utah
Idaho
Arizona
Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
Morality of the West
Historical Timeline