There is a little road that stretches and winds from California to Washington. It travels the back bits and meanders in places that most people have forgotten about. It is quiet and heartbreaking and still, incredibly inspiring. It leaves you with the taste of hope and promise even as you try to swallow the obvious evidence of dead dreams and lives no longer lived nor remembered.

We caught the 395 in the southeastern side of Washington. I have been on this road before but this time as we traveled past farms (some well and working, others vacant and held in the past) it reminded me to hold my dreams, my love, my laugh, and my ever-wondering poetic thoughts; to hold them. To pull them close to me. To look at them and to believe in them. As we curled through Oregon in the rain and the rolling green hills became mountainous and covered in trees, I looked for deer and I thought about all the people who had been here. Had traveled here specifically.

I want to know these people. I want to know their courage. I want to know their hearts. On the 395 there are people still living simply. I want to believe that they are happy. I need to believe that they are happy because one day, I want to live simply too.

As the road brought us through the dry golden fields of Northeastern California and into Nevada, I could see the climate change but the spirit—that quiet, humble, strong spirit—prevailed.