wild departures


The evolution of an outdoor girl I thought I was a wild girl once. Not the boobies on the bar after Jell-O shots kind of wild, but a girl in her 20s who chose to live in the mountains alone, after growing up in three of the largest cities in the United States—sort of Where the Crawdads Sing meets Into the Wild, without the leeches or abandoned bus. Almost three decades ago, I packed up my new Nissan Pathfinder and two Texas-born huskies and drove 1,000 miles west from San Antonio to Boulder, Colorado, aching to find a place to call home. The Pathfinder, like me, looked ready for adventure, but with its rear-wheel drive suspension and Texas plates, it was an unprepared poser that was more apt to end up spinning on ice than summiting any peaks. It made all the sense in the world to seek refuge and…