pockmarked valleys and scrubby hills
the snowcapped Sierras in the distance forever.
Hundreds of miles in the saddle
to get to this venerable stop of the Pony Express
now a pilgrimage for cowboys and fighter pilots and bikers.
Tequila, mescal and conversation flow freely
while the barkeep picks and croons between shots.
And the veneer of difference melts away.
To the outside world, they are caricatures in stories
But no one, nowhere could be more genuine.