It was on these byways that Dean opted to travel, rolling along the river with the down of cottonwoods filling the air like a winter snowstorm, past the occasional farm house, fields, and ever-present vista of mountains wrapping around him.
The building sat amid a cluster of cottonwoods that had grown there for an old man's lifetime, while a weather-beaten barn stood off to the side, showing its tired age.
He hit a comfortable pace and stayed there as he peddled past the cemetery and the open meadows where a herd of elk grazed near the river to his left, standing at attention near the edge of the tall cottonwoods that lined the bank.
Cottonwoods line the streams, salt-loving vegetation margins the bare playas, low bushes and scattered bunch-grass grow over the lowlands, especially in the north.
Cottonwoods flourish along the Little Missouri river, and in sheltered ravines grow stunted junipers and cedars, which seldom rise above the crest of some protecting bluff.
Occasional cottonwoods along streams are the only trees on the plains.
Thickets of alders and willows in wet places and new-made land, aspens and large cottonwoods west of the characteristic spruce area (as on Seward Peninsula), are also common.
East of the Cascades the valleys are usually treeless, save for a few willows and cottonwoods in the vicinity of streams. Over the greater part of this region the sage-brush is the most common plant, and by its ubiquity it imparts to the landscape the monotonous greyish tint so characteristic of the arid regions of the western United States.
Willows and cottonwoods grow along streams. The west slope of the Wasatch has been largely denuded of its forests to supply the demands of the towns at its base.