Droppings of the Lesser Redneck

“Interstate 80 swings well south of the emigrant trail through the Truckee Dunes today. Only the hiss of windblown sand disturbs the graveyard quiet now. Jeep tracks follow the trail across the dunes toward river. The remnants of the grim march, the bones and abandoned wreckckage, are gone-collected, decayed, or buried by the shifting sand. Modern artifacts are abundant enough, though, especially as you approach the Truckee River: beer bottles, moldering mattresses, rusted appliances—the detritus of the nearby towns of Wadsworth and Fernley. Shotgun shells (the droppings of the Lesser Redneck) abound as well. The Truckee Dunes, fossilized, will present future archaeologists with intriguing stratigraphy: bleached oxen bones and rusted wagon parts overlain by bullet-holed appliances and faded porno magazines—the stratigraphy of Manifest Destiny.”