Outside, the glow of the late northern sunset is inching towards unaccustomed night. Up here in the cradle of the mountains, the fierce winds of the last week have faded into a fluttering, almost-warm breeze that has just a kiss of the stinging autumn nearly upon us. I want to strip this stiff uniform into a heap, pull on my own familiar clothes and walk up the valleys away from this little outpost of roads and houses and people. Away from anxiety about what the next months will bring or won't. I want to walk into the woods and valleys and sleep under the newly lit stars in a bed of alpine tundra, I want to wake to the almost-frost of late summer on my cheeks.

That is why we go to the woods, go out on the water, across the desert, isn't it? So we can just walk for awhile? Just focus on picking a line across a valley, or a dry footstep in the rocky creek? So we can get the weary rest our bodies can never quite capture in our real, our necessary lives? So our minds can reset themselves with the monotony and physical demands of travel under our own slow power. Is this why the dream of the journey cannot be shaken?
I have debunked so many of the fantasies that brought me here, but this one remains. On a warm, darkening night like this I just want to walk away into the mountains.