We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when my faithful Roadtrip Companion challenged me. “Compose the opening paragraph,” he said to me, “of completely fictional history book chapter.” I did. Here’s what never happened:
Released from bondage, but no longer welcome in the land they once ruled, the exiled Klimbaugh people went west, toward present-day Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Their search for religious acceptance would frequently be met by hostility toward their unusual practices, most famously in the Great Hangings of Dushanbe. The Klimbaugh’s movements can be traced until 1400 BCE, after which most scholars agree that the pressures of their hostile surroundings, un-arable land, and lack of social acceptance drove the final vestiges of this once-great kingdom to assimilation or death.