Running parallel to Route 2 for quite some time was a rail line. Long trains of dozens of coal cars from Wyoming passed by. Wyoming is the #1 coal producing state in America. And half the electricity in the US is generated by coal-fired power plants. I think I saw all the coal needed by a small city for a year in all the coal I saw rolling by, in just one afternoon on a sunny early autumn day.
And the treeless sand hills kept rolling by too. Once the home to bison, now producing beef for a hungry nation. Seemingly untouched. A bare land. But not barren.