Dust and Mud - Photography by Dana Thomas
Open Roads

When I was young I dreamt of open roads.  Long stretches weaving through mountains and crossing plateaus and deserts.  Two lanes negotiated in an old truck, alone or with a friend and a dog in the cab. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, rest stops under majestic shade trees and cool evenings around a campfire.  Good music on the tape player with interludes in roadside diners, food heavy with grease and flavor. California, Oregon, Utah all across the American west, visiting small towns, meeting new people, all with the goal to keep moving.

Today I dream of trails. Winding paths taking me into canyons, along streams and up onto ridges where the views reach for miles. Long hikes with a light pack, comfortable shoes and friends for conversation.  Nights spent out in the open watching the stars or in tents listening to rain. Crisp morning air, cool breezes on hot summer afternoons, sunrises and sunsets. Above timberline in the Sierra, out on the slick-rock and in the canyons of the Escalante or among Aspens in the Rockies. The sound of flowing streams and the impossible cold of high mountain lakes.  One step at a time, the only goal to keep moving.

I'm unsure about my dreams in the future. They may contain roads and trails. They may not.  I am certain that they will contain sunrises, sunsets, a friend for conversation and a wish to keep moving.