I had to drive to Quartzsite today on business. On the way there I took the shortest route, west from Phoenix on Interstate 10. Not the most exciting drive, but the desert all around me looked renewed by the recent rains - greener than I've seen it in years. On the way home I took the longer scenic route along old U.S. 60, through Brenda and Salome and Wenden and Wickenburg, then back down to Phoenix. On that return trip, I had John Stewart on the CD player: the "California Bloodlines" album in its entirety, most of "Willard", and highlights from "The Phoenix Concerts". Driving the two-lane road through those small towns, looking at the fields and orchards, the farmers in mud-covered pickup trucks, kids just getting out of school, the desert coming back to life, the massive hulk of the Harquahala Mountains wrapped in clouds, good Mexican food in Wickenburg, the Hassayampa River in flood... it was perfect. John Stewart's America is still out there, if you look hard enough. Get off of the freeways and out of the "stinking concrete cities" this weekend (or whenever you can) and you'll see what I mean.