It’s hunting season in Colorado and I almost got my deer. I was driving through the southwest corner of the state doing 65. The deer was doing nothing — just standing there like a deer in the headlights.
I missed it.
But I’m sure someone else will bag it. In Colorado this time of year, the odds don’t favor the deer.
We’re talking Dolores County here, where three out of four cars aren’t cars at all, but trucks. And where “hunter orange” is always in style. Guys in Dolores don’t even have to change caps to root for the Denver Broncos. It's all orange.
This is where you see the Pledge of Allegiance printed on the sides of trailers and the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy unfurl in the wind. The magazine rack in the grocery store where I stopped was filled with stuff about weaponry. If someone told me the number of guns in Dolores outnumbered the cellphones, I wouldn’t bat an eye.
I bring all this up because a week or so ago I felt in my gut, for the first time, the great rift in American society. The Continental Divide runs through lower Colorado, but the Cultural Divide is steeper and more formidable.
It came like a whiplash because I'd just spent a couple of days at the Moab Folk Festival. And the only thing the “folks” I'd been hanging with there in southern Utah had in common with the Colorado set was they all favored beards.
You know all about Moab, of course. That’s the place where a sign on the outskirts of town declares:
“Moab. Welcome to a Green Power Community — first in the nation.”
Beneath that sign is another declaring Moab to be Tree City USA.
At the Folk Festival the jokes about President Donald Trump flowed like fine wine.
In a word, Moab is one “groovy” town, with all the baby boomer trappings that implies.
In southwest Colorado, they “harvest” deer with rifles and bows.
In Moab, they hug deer and squeeze ducks as if they were long-lost cousins.
I'm fairly savvy about progressive thinking, but even I couldn't keep up at the Folk Festival.
And it all left me wondering: How in the world can America's splintered pieces ever be united again?
I fear we are a Humpty Dumpty country now. And horses and men will never be able to glue us together.
That's a dire vision, I know. But after seeing what I saw, I'm convinced of it.
Even an act of Congress wouldn't get people communicating.
It will take an act of God.
See you at church, folks.