From the car window I watched as the fields sailed by. There is a certain vernacular recognized when driving east from Colorado. I say driving because this vernacular is particular to the road, the world from a car. There are these sprawling fields. There are gas station stops with flat metal roofs, where it is tradition to purchase “gas station food” full of sugar and road trip sweetness. There is a gentle hum from the spinning tires. There are silver silos that dot the roadside. If we did not recognize the midwestern vernacular, these silos may appear alien among this natural world, but as Americans, we know these strange structures and accept them as commonplace. In chapter two of Magpie Rising, Gilfillan speaks of this vernacular, and how the road trip is an experience that many Americans know and love. We treasure our memories of the gas stations the fields and of course, the silos.
The silo in this photo was made in the car with paper and duck-tape