Translucent steam curled from my metal blue and white speckled enamel cup filled with hot, hazlenut coffee. Sipping, I felt the crunch of snow under foot. The sun reflected powerfully from the white hills of the Southern Wasatch range, Utah. The day before, I was hiking in the coastal chaparral scrub of California with my girlfriend and our dogs. The next day, I found myself dwarfed by red cliffs capped with snow.
Lifting the handle on the door of my truck, which recently hit 100,000 miles zig-zagging the American West, I noticed it is beginning to creak. The shear size challenges and humbles. From the Rockies to Utah’s deserts and California’s coast, the region as a concept seems as large as an entire country. Despite being impossible to know its true nuances, the nooks and crannies of all the secret stashes, it has a magnetic appeal. Drawn to try, with four wheels to the road I headed east for Colorado.
“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyong reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.”