Why do we keep driving across Nevada? I don’t know, but on Wednesday epic winds were blowing across the plains, kicking up dust and darkening half the sky. What is up with this, I asked, and J. said, “A complex emergent phenomenon”: egghead. Armies of tumbleweeds came bouncing across the road; when cars hit them, our own included, they puffed out into evanescent clouds of twigs, like bad guys in a video game. Those that survived the passage would get caught on the miles of barbed wire fence that run along the highway to screen off the range lands. When we drove back the next day they had piled ten deep along the fences, on both sides of the road, for mile after mile. We made out a column of smoke, a glint of red flame, and as we got closer we saw about fifteen people from the highway department standing around the fence in their orange overalls, watching a pile of weeds burn down. But is that what they’re planning along the entire highway? It will take months to burn them all.