But I did wake up in the middle of the night with some imagery.
"They reached the Plumas River, and Frank was astounded by the sight. The last time he’d seen this stretch of the river, it had been a meadow, lined by aspen trees, with a soft layer of flowers that looked as if they had been painted there.
Now it was all dirt and mud. Gone were the gold miners who had used picks and shovels, to be replaced by teams of men, working like ants. The skin of the earth had been peeled back, leaving a raw, deep wound. The hills above had been stripped of trees, the lumber used to build crude fumes and dams, trestles on stilts, stealing the life’s blood of water from their channels, imprisoning the flow as if it was their slave. The water struck and washed away the earth, leaving piles of gravel and boulders. The terrain was riddled and effaced, and alongside the devastation were the mounds of waste pilings.
The ranchers were silent as they passed the diggings, exchanging wordless greetings with the miners but not stopping. It troubled all of them, Frank thought. It was a desecration of the land. But it was none of their business.
They continued up the waves of foothills and deep cut canyons, until they reached the base of Thompson Peak."
That kind of thing....