"It should not be denied, either, that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led west."
Wallace Stegner, The American West as Living Space
It's time. It's getting past time for me. Oh, I got to go west in late December and did the best snowshoeing I've ever done, in subzero weather at that. And Susan, Sarah, and I got to go west to Utah in March to hike our favorite desert hikes. But it's amazing to me how powerful and unending the call of the West is to me. Maybe it's what Father Schmemann (Russian Orthodox priest whose journals I am reading) is getting at when he says, "It is quite difficult to live until you feel at home." (The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann, 1973-83) Maybe it's because the dry heat and alpine meadows above 11,700 feet and emerald green in Iron King Basin and the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon - maybe it's because that's where I feel at home.
At any rate, it's time to go again. To enter into being footloose, to escape obligation and history and bury myself in the wilderness once again - whether it's in the Rockies or the canyons of Utah or the glaciers of the Cascades, it's time to go home.