White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

"holy shit, i can't believe this is where we grew up."  

as we roar north on highway ninety three night leaves us in my rearview mirror. the white mountains in the distance, a range so big it seems to stay the same size even as we get closer. what seemed like an all day trip as a kid in the back of my mom's mini-van turns out to be only an hours drive from my childhood home. 

the last time i was in these mountains was nine years ago for a high school field trip, i was a senior and there was one week left of class. the only thing on my mind was getting out of this podunk place, now i'm trying to jam as much into one morning as i can because i don't want to leave. 

it's cold up here. the last days of april and there is still snow on the side of the road and the mountain tops, the rivers and lakes are frigid. the freezing temperatures that we hated growing up actually turned out to be what shaped our character; tough, independent.

footloose, always on the go chasing that feeling of freedom, seeking to be anywhere but where we are. it's the reason we left new hampshire in the first place, the reason we moved to philadelphia, the reason we rode our bikes across the country, the reason we moved to austin and the reason we are constantly on the go. i'm glad i left, i believe getting away from the familiarity of your childhood is important, but making it back up north a little older, and maybe a little wiser, a feeling of gratitude washes over me; "this is where i grew up". 

"All the past we leave behind,

We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,

Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,

Pioneers! O pioneers!"  Walt Whitman 1865