He thought it over for a moment. "Oh, reckon about 40 miles," he said.
I don't know what lesson my experience offers besides the obvious common-sense message that one should be prepared when traveling in uninhabited country. I can testify that I saw and experienced as much wilderness during that episode as I did on the occasions when I went out looking for it. Beyond that, as an incorrigibly romantic wind-kisser and wilderness buff I'm damned glad that one can still get that stranded on an American road. I'm pleased as a Christmas babe to find country that big and empty and open, I'm thrilled by the lusty presence of unexpected wilderness, and never, never again will I pronounce it dead.