Living this Old Western Way


A massive thunderstorm is snap, crackling the sky and popping in my ears. I think of how having nothing but a van’s roof between me and all of that Great Buffalo in the Sky’s wrath is invigorating.

Then I recall days of tents and Pacific Ocean storms. Then sleeping in just jeans and a long sleeve on the desert floor.

We talk about how much bigger the clouds seem out here. Bordering the Western edge of the Great Plains and what we’re still debating over whether or not is “Out West”, everything is on a slightly grander scale.

Stories of heroism revolve not around caped fiction flying through skies and fighting evil doers, but instead real life men on horseback in ages not that long gone, living their rugged lives and rarely as told by history.

I feel so perfect as these nights fold into their close. Children asleep, conversations slow to a long stare at fellow campgrounders or distant stars perhaps planets. The dog lies below Nanny’s bed, all just an aluminum trailer wall away.

By the time we leave here, these Black Hills, even with the imagination to which I was born, I can’t believe anyone will doubt that we’ve arrived. Once again, the West.

Where I first saw the endless possibility of life, and where I intend to show my three boys how to escape from everything else that only seems to matter.