My brain sometimes feels like the vast and terrifying untamed west. There’s the Wasatch and the Rockies, high mountain lakes tucked away in the swath of the Sierras and glassy black rock piles in the open Mojave. All of them beautiful, inhospitable, and yet coveted. In a single day I want them all. To hop from each spot as an easy explorer. I could do this. I could do that. I could do all of it. And if I don’t temper my desires, if I don’t hone my work and passions into a single negotiable railway, I’ll get lost out there. Lost, overwhelmed, driven mad by possibilities. We need that railway, don’t we? It’s so easy to espouse freedom, to live each day by the moment, but without the railway–the metaphor works, right?–that’s what we’ll lose. The horizon will seem too far off. The mountains will pin us in. Our days and nights will no longer be defined by movement and exploration–pushing ourselves–but by seclusion. Camps become cabins. Gatherers become farmers. And the absurd western wild becomes a terrifying wasteland lost amidst campfire tales. Movement is the key. It keeps the madness at bay. And the rail makes the great big west accessible, less overwhelming, less scary. It makes me okay with exploration.