Seeing the Elephant*West of Cut Bank, MT

Montana sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I have a particular love (and lots and lots of sketches) of treeless landscapes and endless plains. But I have to admit—after driving cross-country over more than 2,000 miles of the flat interior of the continent, seeing mountains again, at last, feels like a kind of reward.

* “Seeing the Elephant” was a popular (and complicated) American expression in the late 19th century, often used by pioneers to refer to the reward awaiting them at the end of their long wagon journey west.

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Comments (2)

  1. Cat

    As an avid backroads traveler, and lover of America’s high plans, I could NOT agree more. I’m also a former Tacoman. Some now-forgotten google search about the town led me to your site and art, and so glad it did. Your art is wonderful, and your posts are fun.

    Reply
  2. Oliver

    I never heard the expression “Seeing the Elephant” before and I love it!! :) Chandler, I also really like the sketch above and the one linked! Not sure if I could share your love for treeless landscapes, but it’s certainly a marvellous thing to see plains aligning with the horizon on a lengthy road trip. Still, mountains seem to be the lighthouses of nature…
    Best wishes and I hope you will never reach the end of “the road of creativity and inspiration” and may there always be a place to sit down, sketch or simply savour the moment. Or better say turning minutes into moments… ;)
    Kind regards, Oliver

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