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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui


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80202, Denver

Welcome to the Frontier!

Dear ——–,

After a long day in training, Preston and I decided to meet up for dinner. He suggested Ted’s Montana Grill, for the bison pot roast. I felt a little weird looking at the large curly bison head adorning the wall. I was in the middle of watching Ken Burns’ National Parks series and the last segment I saw talked about Teddy Roosevelt rushing to get out West because he wanted to shoot one of the beasts before they disappeared from the frontier forever. A park ranger described the breath of bison in Yellowstone crystallizing out of the winter air and forming beards on their chins. And here I was, about 100 years later, about to order a slice. (The restaurant was unfortunately out of bison pot roast, so I got bison meatloaf instead. The verdict: tasty.) The good thing, I guess, was we managed somehow to pull back from the brink of destroying the quintessential symbolic of American wildness. Bison live on, even if in a somewhat circumscribed form, leaving link between the original frontier and our modern life today. Maybe it’s not too late for America to redeem itself from other mistakes as well.

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