If I could have I would have: had that moment in Paris. But I’m in Wallace, Idaho when that little bell inside me rings. Instead of going back to the car for another 175 miles of winter driving, I grab my camera and break a trail through the snow. Across the alley—the 1960s: An old red bus parked semi-beneath some abandoned cedar-shaked canopy. The ground shakes from the snowplow passing overhead on the elevated I-90 that curves through this tiny town squished between hunched slabs of mountain, guarded and gated from decades of excessive mines.
I snap my shots, then slide my camera in my coat pocket and take my mittens off. Just to feel more, to feel more like I’ve been here.
Behind me, my ride negotiates the rutted alley and in a moment it will be time to go. Cold air carries my breath away and I don’t want to leave. Rail cars of crushed carbon and sea containers chug along distant tracks, crossing woven water. Black trestle. Midnight river, blue. Once upon a time, someone told me shadows begin whenever your boots touch pavement. I get back inside the car and we take off. Exit ramp, west blinker on, wipers—intermediate.