Unit Nine
第九单元
Text
课文
In 1976, during America's bicetennial celebration,
1976年,在美国两百世纪庆典期间,
a family decided to travel to the American West instead of joining the majority of people that were celebrating on the East Coast.
一个家庭决定到美国西部去旅行,而不加入在东海岸庆典的大部分人员。
They wanted to follow the trails that the pioneers had made when they began to settle the West.
他们想去跟随最早在西部定住的先驱者的踪迹。
The family was looking forward to making their own discoveries.
那个家庭期望得到他们自己的发现。
JOURNEY WEST
西行纪事
Jim Doherty
Jim Doherty编著
We began our trip out West on June 19,1976,
1976年6月19日,我们出发去西部旅行,
a time when millions of other American families were preparing to crowd into the Bicentennial shrines of the East.
当时数百万美国家庭正准备拥向东部两百年大庆的圣地。
We sized up America's 200th birthday celebration a bit differently.
我们对美国建国两百周年庆典的看法有点与众不同。
Although the Republic may have been born in the East,
虽然共和国诞生在东部,
it had spent most of its time and energies since then moving west.
但建国之后的绝大部分时间和精力都花在向西开拓上。
So we resolved to head in the same direction in 1976,
因此我们决定在1976年
following the old pioneer trails and the famous rivers.
也沿着老一代拓荒者的足迹和名川大河向西进发。
Concentrating primarily on Wyoming and Montana,
我们的重点是考察怀俄明和蒙大拿,
we would explore such legendary mountain ranges as the Big Horns,
同时去领略大霍恩、
the Bitterroots and the Swan.
比特鲁特以及斯旺等充满传奇色彩的山脉和风光。
There was one problem though.
不过,还有一个问题。
I was sure our four kids-
我敢肯定我们的四个孩子??
educated about the West through the movies-
他们关于西部的知识是通过电影获得的??
would be disappointed.
会失望的。
As an environmental editor,
作为一个生态环境编辑,
I knew that strip mining was tearing up many scenic areas and that clear-cutting was causing widespread damage in the mountains.
我知道,露天采矿正在毁掉许多风景区,砍掉成片森林给山区造成广泛的破坏。
I was well aware that draining and damming were making a mess of many rivers and wetlands.
我很清楚,挖沟排水和筑坝拦水正把许多河流和沼泽地搞得一团糟。
The grasslands were overgrazed and coal-burning power plants were befouling the air.
草原上牧群太多,烧煤的电厂正在污染着空气。
Wildlife was on the run everywhere and tourists were turning the national parks into slums.
野生动物四处奔逃,游客们把国家公园变成贫民窟一般。
I was prepared for the worst.
我作了最坏的打算,
But how to prepare the kids?
但孩子们怎么办呢?
The answer, we decided,
我们的办法是,
was to undertake our journey not just as tourists on a holiday,
不把我们的旅行单单当作假日游玩,
but as reporters on the trail of "the real West."
而是把自己看作记者,踏着山径小道,采访“真正的西部”。
So all of us, form my kids to my wife,
所以我们全体,从孩子到妻子,
pledged to do our homework before we left and to record on the way everything we did, saw,
发誓在出发前作好充分准备,一路上详细纪录我们所做、所见、
heard, felt or thought.
所闻以及感觉到和想到的一切。
Predictably, we did not uncover any new truths about the West in three short weeks.
不出所料,在短短的三周中,我们没有发现有关西部的新情况。
But there were plenty of surprises on that 5,200-mile journey and the biggest one was this:
但在五千二百英里的旅程中却碰上了许多意料不到的事,而最感到意外的莫过于,
I had been wrong. Some of the troubles we saw were every bit as bas as I had dreaded.
发现我的预料错了。我们见到的某些问题就像我们当初担心的那样。
But by and large, the country was as glorious,
但总的来说,我们的河山光辉、
as vast and as overwhelmingly spectacular as those know-nothing kids had expected!
辽阔和令人倾倒!正像那些一无所知的孩子们所期待的那样。
Half the fun of going west is discovering, along the way,
我们向西旅行,一半的乐趣在于边走边看,
how much the past is still with us.
看看过去的东西还留存多少。
Old wives' tales.
依旧是那些古老的故事,传统的观点。
Little old farm towns shaded from the summer heat by enormous maple trees on streets.
依旧是一座座老式的农村小镇,它们靠着沿街两侧的巨大枫树免受炎夏烈日之苦。
White-haired folks reading the paper on their farmhouse porches at sunset.
夕阳西下时,白发苍苍的老人们坐在家舍门廊上看报,
Worn-out windmills standing alone in pastures...
牧场上破旧的风车孑然而立……
All in all,
总之,
we did not see much evidence that small-town America is vanishing as we traveled through rural Wisconsin,
我们没有见到多少迹象能够表明美国小城镇的固有风貌正在消失。我们游遍威斯康星、
Minnesota and South Dakota.
明尼苏达和南达科他的农村。
It's true that many new homes are rising in many old cornfields.
诚然,在许多昔日的玉米地里,新的房屋正在耸起。
But for the most part,
但就大部分地方而言,
life in vast areas of the American heartland remains pretty much the same as it was 30 and 40 years ago.
美国中心地带广大地区的生活与三四十年前相比,差不多依然如旧。
In the hilly farmlands of southern Wisconsin and Minnesota,
在威斯康星和明尼苏达南部的丘陵地带的农业地区,
we found the fields and forests green and the creeks still flowing.
我们看到农田和森林青翠葱绿,山间小溪依然流水潺潺。
The farms, with their "eggs for sale" signs and enormous "grandma's gardens" in the front yards,
挂着“出售鸡蛋”牌子、门前庭院里专门辟出大块“老祖母园地”的农场,
looked prosperous and secure.
一派繁荣昌盛、无忧无虑的景象。
Not much further north, though,
然而再往北去不远,
a drought was threatening the land.
一场旱灾正威胁着大地。
In South Dakota, the situation was far worse.
在南达科他州,情况更严重。
"Haven't seen anything like this since the dirty thirties,"
“自糟糕的30年代以来,还未见到过如此大旱。”
one farmer told us.
一个农场主告诉我们说。
Even in normal times,
即使天气正常,
most of South Dakota is dry.
南达科他的大部分地区也很干燥。
Now it was being burned to a crisp.
而现在大地被烤得如同焦土一般。
The water holes were dried up and we saw dead cattle lying here and there on the treeless,
水坑干涸了,我们到处看到死去的牲口在那没有树木,
rolling range.
绵延起伏的放牧地带。
Some farmers were hauling water out to their thirsty stock daily;
有些农场主每天拉水去喂干渴的牲口,
others were trying to drill deep wells.
另一些人正地设法打深井。
We saw two distinctly different Wyomings.
我们见到两个截然不同的怀俄明。
We crossed the first Wyoming between the Black Hills and the Big Horns.
在黑山和大霍恩山脉之间,我们穿越了第一个怀俄明。
Wide-open grassland, fenced and colorless,
这里是一片开阔的草原,到处有栅栏篱笆,色彩显得很单调,
with rocks and sweet-smelling shrubs scattered about,
除了遍布各处的红岩和发出芳香气息的灌木外,
it was typical of a hard-used land.
这是典型的被使用得过分的土地。
Cattle grazed on it.
在这片土地上,牲畜在吃草,
Oil rigs pumped on it and power lines zigzagged all over it.
钻塔在抽油,输电线纵横交借,四通八达,
Freight trains labored across it,
货车在缓慢吃力地行驶,
hauling coal from strip mine to power plant,
将露天矿的煤拉到发电厂,
hauling uranium and other minerals to refineries.
将铀及其它矿产拉到冶炼厂。
This Wyoming, clearly, was booming.
显然,这一个怀俄明正处于兴旺发达、蓬勃发展的时期。
The other Wyoming started some miles east of Buffalo,
从布法罗以东数英里开始,就是另一个怀俄明了。
an unexpectedly graceful community in the foothills of the Big Horns.
这是大霍恩山脉丘陵地带的一个异常优美的地区。
On one side of town, antelope abounded by fours and fives in the hills,
位于小镇一边的山坡上,三五成群的羚羊到处可见,
and yellow wild flowers lined the roads.
黄色的野花开遍路边。
On the other side rose the Big Horns and nearly 10,000 feet up,
在小镇的另一边,大霍恩山高高耸立,在将近一万英尺的高处,
Powder River Pass cut through them.
波德河隘口穿山而过。
The Big Horn canyons were incredible,
大霍恩峡谷简直令人不可思议。
with four and five distinct layers of pine trees somehow clinging to the steep, rocky walls.
陡峭古壁上长着松树,有四五个清晰可辨的层次,它们像粘附在岩石上似的。
Far, far below, Ten Sleep Creek was a thin,
在老远、老远的下面,十眠河看上去成了一条纤细的、
white torrent on the rampage.
奔腾不息的白色激流。
In some of the less wild terrain,
在一些不那么荒凉的地方,
we saw deer on the high green hillsides and,
我们看到高高的绿色山腰上有鹿在活动。
as we climbed up toward our picnic spot,
当我们爬上我们的野餐地点时,
we flushed two does and two fawns.
我们惊起了两只母鹿和两只幼鹿。
That night, we fell asleep with the roar of Ten Sleep in our ears.
那天夜里,我们在十眠河的轰鸣声中入睡。
We had picked by chance for our stopping place an area rich in western lore.
碰巧的是,我们选择的停歇处是一个富于西部传说的地区。
At one time, Ten Sleep -a small village at the western base of the Big Horns-
位于大霍恩西部山脚的小村子十眠镇。
lay midway between two great Indian camps.
曾经是两个大的印第安人营地之间的中间点。
In those days,
那时候,
the Indians measured distances by the number of sleeps and the halfway mark between those two camps was exactly ten sleeps.
印第安人以睡眠的次数计量距离,而两个营地之间的一半,正好是十次睡眠的路程。
We crossed the Continental Divide for the first time on a cool morning,
在一个凉爽的早晨,我们第一次越过大陆分水岭,
cutting through the Rockies in northwestern Wyoming at a place called Togwatee Pass (at a height of 9,656 feet ).
在怀俄明西北部一个叫做托格瓦提关(高达9656英尺)的地方时,穿越了洛矶山脉。
Our van had just leveled off and we were rounding a downhill bend when,
当我们的车子刚刚进入水平行驶,绕过一个下山的弯道时,
all at once, there they were,
突然间,
stretched out before us in a spectacular procession of massive white peaks:
一座接一座的壮丽的、高大的、白色山峰展现在我们眼前,
the Tetons. My wife gasped and, behind us,
这就是提腾山脉。我妻子惊叹不已。坐在我们身后的
the kids began to yell.
孩子们禁不住喊叫了起来。
In truth, it was a startling sight-
这确是个奇观??
a sight none of us will ever forget.
一种我们永远也不会忘记的壮丽景色。
We had seen mountains before,
我们过去也曾见过大山,
but we had never experienced anything even remotely like that initial impact of the Tetons.
却从未体验过初见提腾山脉时引起的这种激动心情。
It was exactly what we had in mind when we decided to take our first trip "out West."
而这正是当初我们决定第一次“西行”时心中所期待的。
New Words
新单词
bicentennial a.
二百年,二百周年纪念
shrine n.
神殿,圣地
resolve vt.
决定
trail n.
小径,小道
legendary a.
传奇(似)的
mountain range
山脉
disappointed a.
失望的
environmental a.
环境的
environment n.
环境,外界
editor n.
编辑
strip mine n. & vt.
露天矿 露天开采(矿物)
scenic a.
天然风景的
clear-cut vt.
将…的树木砍伐光
drain vt.
排(水等)
dam n. & vt.
坝,水闸
mess n.
混乱,肮脏
wetland n.
沼泽地
grassland n.
草地;牧场
overgraze vt.
在…上过度放牧
power plant
发电厂
befoul vt.
弄脏
wildlife n.
野生动植物
tourist n.
游客
slum n.
贫民窟
undertake vt.
承担,从事
pledge vt.
发誓,保证
predictably ad.
可预言的
uncover vt.
揭开…盖子;发现
know-nothing
 

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