"Ole buddy, there's a big ole Smokey in the weeds takin' pictures at Mile 87. You copy?"
"Ten-four, ole buddy. And there goes another Smokey goin' west, a County Mountie. They are out there!"
"That's a four. What'd you say your handle was?"
"You got the Powerful Polack here."
"Preachin' Padre here. That's the handle, good buddy. Drivin' a fourwheeler outta Council Bluffs headin' to Rock Island."
"You a preacher, good buddy?"
"A big affirmative on that. My flock calls me the Channel 19 Preacher."
The Johnson CB on the floor under my feet crackled and whined, and I knew that at last I was within touching and smelling distance of the great American heartland. A fundamentalist preacher on CB, warning the good buddies that the Smokeys were out. Was he pro-sin or just anti-Smokey? Only in America could there be over 10 million voices on the air night and day, warning each other of the stealthy approach of law and order. As I rolled along in the sunshine, my mind went back through what seemed like centuries to the day that this wild trip had begun. . .