In his essay about racing his BMW on the track in eastern Colorado, Daniel Brigham reinforces the old myth that the wilderness is only for men, only for those with "a certain amount of grit," and, worst, only for those with access to an expensive, powerful machine ("Mechanized wilderness," HCN, 11/11/13). The sensations he describes – the temptation of a distant ridge, the bewitching beauty of an undulating sea of the prairie – are often part of the transcendent experience of the outdoors, but there are many other more subtle, quieter and less wasteful ways to connect with nature. And those experiences can be had by anyone – man or woman, rich or poor, black, brown or white – with a good pair of shoes and a sense of humility. "What Westerner doesn't in some way enjoy the drama of motoring through the pounding rain or road-erasing snow?" he asks. Well, there are quite a few of us.
Evan H. Carver