It was always the road out of town – the road past Costco that takes you to Burns along long stretches of big sky and sagebrush. Highway 20, its official name. It was the road to elsewhere, the road to adventure, to new chapters and discovery.
It was the road heading out on my first solo-road trip (to the Tetons), to visit family in Salt Lake City, to go to college in Vermont, to move to Kansas, or to just camp in the hills of Horse Ridge. It was always leading to another chapter, or a new moment.
Now, it is the road home.
I noticed that today, driving back from the Badlands, cresting over one horizon to see the mountains lined up brilliantly in front of the blue sky of another horizon.
I know all of the mountain names (thanks, mom), and they are familiar to me in a way that I knew them before I could crawl, speak, or hear thoughts. The peaks and crags and curves and heights that are somehow a part of me, a part of us.
There – lined up on the horizon – welcoming us home after we turn around.