"...the natural world endures..."
While reading the final article in Mel White's 2004 series about driving from Alaska to Florida, I particularly enjoyed this graf:
As for travel epiphanies... What I have instead is the comprehensive reinforcement of two beliefs I already held. First, although the cultural world undeniably has become more homogenized, the natural world endures, genuine and full of wonders, and it's here that travelers looking for diversity find the greatest rewards. There may be a Wal-Mart in Whitehorse, Yukon, and the same cable channels on televisions from the Bering Sea to Biscayne Bay, but anyone willing to get out of towns and cities can find proof of place in every park, preserve, and wildlife refuge. Flamingos do not nest on the tundra; spruce doesn't grow in the plains; pronghorn don't graze in the Deep South piney woods. People who lament the increasing sameness of the country are spending too much time in the mall.Amen.
As I finished the article, it suddenly hit me. I met Mel White in Brinkley, Ark., two years ago. Holy cow.