Editor’s  note: This posting was authored by Pat Ford. Many years  ago, Pat served as the executive director of ICL. Most recently, he was  the executive director for Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition. Pat lives in  Boise, Idaho, and periodically contributes to the ICL blog.

"Mountain wilderness does nothing so much as prove the existence of infinity. It lifts the lid and blows down all the walls and suddenly life is enormous and unbounded."

When I think of Idaho, and take a breath with the thought, I get a feeling like writer Dick Manning’s when he first came west in 1978. My abiding physical memory, body memory, of my time in Idaho mountains is the hello of wind when I crest a high ridge-in my face, into my eyes and against me-as the circuit of earth I see doubles or triples.

One page later, moving from Michigan to Idaho Falls and then Twin Falls to work for newspapers, Dick writes: "I didn’t know then that Idaho was such a strange place."

Fill in your differing particulars, but if you’ve lived in Idaho any time, with open eyes, you know this second feeling too: Idaho as a strange and riven place. For me the wild Idaho feeling comes first, but not far behind comes the other. I call it welcome to Idaho, part one and part two-both true.

Dick’s book is It Runs in the Family.