- Eco-friendly business 5. To those who went west
- A good place for holidays 6. An unexpected environmental problem
- A silent hero of American literature 7. Great sights and dangerous creatures
- In search of luck and happiness 8. Dangerous sport
A. Geographically, the Wild West refers to the states west of the Mississippi River. The American West is both a place and an idea. In people’s minds, it was a place that promised excitement because it was new and unknown. From the middle of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, lots of people pushed their way westward trying to find land, better lives, gold and silver, and, sometimes, to escape the law.
B. Due to books and films, the first thing that comes to mind about the American West is cowboys, rodeos and riding broncos. Bronco is the nickname for a wild horse. When a bronco jumps, it kicks its back legs trying to throw the rider off. Nowadays, there are popular rodeo competitions where cowboys try to remain on aggressive broncos as long as possible. To entertain the public they also lasso cows and bulls.
C. Yellowstone Park, the first American national park, is situated in the western states. The park has a great variety of natural features – waterfalls, plateaus, canyons, hot springs and geysers. It is also famous for its diverse wildlife and harsh beauty. Camping and backpacking are encouraged at Yellowstone, but visitors must be careful. A few careless or unlucky people have already been killed by angry bears.
D. In the 1970s and 1980s, people from all over the United States moved to Colorado to work in the mining industry. New citizens of the state capital, Denver, were attracted to the city by its location in the Rocky Mountains and its clean air. However, due to the rapid development of Denver, they got into serious trouble –growing air pollution. Car engines did not burn fuel efficiently at a high altitude and thick smog hung over the city.
E. In 1935, the federal government selected St. Louis, Missouri, as the site for a new national monument – The Gateway Arch. The memorial, also known as the Gateway to the West, was to honor the pioneers exploring the American West. Eero Saarinen, an architect, won the nationwide competition with his project for a giant steel arch. Since the Gateway Arch was opened in 1965, millions of people visit it every year.
F. The Mississippi River is often mentioned in Mark Twain’s books. In his novel, Life on the Mississippi, the famous writer describes the history of the river and his own experiences related to it. There is also a collection of tales that either take place on the river or are associated with it. Another of Mark Twain’s famous works, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tells us about a journey down the river.
G. Hawaii is the USA’s 50th state. It’s a popular holiday destination for the citizens, as well as for foreign tourists. Along with Florida, it’s one of a few states where it’s usually sunny and hot all the year round. Hawaii is made up of 132 tropical islands, though people live only on seven of them. Tourism is Hawaii’s biggest industry. People are attracted to the islands because of their beautiful scenery and beaches. Surfers come to experience the high waves.