In the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming there is a baren stretch of earth called the “badlands.” The name itself betrays a fear of the unknown.
I was born in the badlands. I found in that place a comfort in the deep silence, in stillness, in a space beyond our measurement, beyond our control. As I grew older I drove on back roads through these places, from the badlands of the Big Horns to the Red Desert of the Great Divide Basin. And always I wondered what lay beyond these roads, what treasures between this and the next? And I yearned for great distances.
I dreamed of stopping my car, walking into the badlands
, and never coming back.