Introduction: The West.
This is Ross and Anita’s guide to the West. The West, for us, has played a central role in our relationship, in our growth as human beings, in our vision of ourselves and our future. We have made it our goal to experience and explore as much of this wild/unwild country as possible during our time in Seattle, and now, as we prepare to depart, we want to leave you with what we have found.
What is the west? For generations of Americans, the west has symbolized freedom, wilderness, unbounded human and natural potential and the chance of rebirth. The west is still a country of jagged peaks, stormy beaches, and salmon struggling up waterfalls; it is still a place of beauty and wonder. But the west is also a dream brought to earth: the young, unbounded west of legend has been shackled, bound, and paved into a civilization as full of technology and infrastructure as any in the east. The west is not a place to escape and find eternal freedom, although it sometimes will trick you into thinking it is; the west is not a place where youth can be reclaimed, though for a few moments in a mountain dawn it will feel as if it has been.
The west is different for each person, but there is a thread that runs through it all, a sense of wonder and renewal pitted against sobering mortality and occasional tragedy. This has been the story of our twenties; this is our west, the peaks and valleys where we became adults, where we learned the shape of things. Come with us back into the ancient forests and we will show you what we have found.
...Anita and I are planning a collection of essays and writing around our experiences traveling in the West. Part travel-guide, part-memoir, part-story of our relationship. Here's the introduction Anita just wrote this morning.