Why I Write American Western Historical Stories

I recently came across something I hand wrote close to thirty years ago, and it says it all when it comes to why I write American Western Historical stories. I was just doing some musing, after writing a description of how I feel about certain places out west. I thought this would interest my readers.

ROCKY MOUNTAINS: There is a peace here unlike anyone can find anyplace else. It is not just quiet. It is total silence, except when the wind blows, often whipping up in an instant, surging violently down from the peaks ahead of a storm, giving no warning, and diminishing in minutes.

NORTHERN WYOMING: Here, I feel, is home. I have been here, in some other life, some other time frame. Perhaps my soul belongs to Sacajawea, or to a long-forgotten pioneer woman. Whoever has moved into this earthly body to live for whatever years God will grant to me, she came from this place, just as surely as I live and breathe today. Someday I will live here again, if not in the flesh, then in spirit. My bones will be buried here, or my ashes scattered here, and I will at last be home again.

YELLOWSTONE: Who can imagine such vast wilderness? It is too awesome to fully describe. Deep green but scraggly pine against black and gray granite. Live and dead trees side by side. Deep blue skies and puffy clouds. Deep canyons with clear water rivers that rush and roar over rocks and boulders. Green and yellow grass grows along the stream beds where animals graze. Along steep banks lie fallen trees and scattered rocks that have slid from higher lofts. Other rocks rise like organ pipes to the heavens, some hanging seemingly on nothing and looking ready to come crashing down.

MUSINGS: There is a life to this land I never realized when I first came west. What at first I called isolation became something of beauty. What looked lifeless came alive, and each time I come here I know why those who live here love it, as I, too, feel a love for it, feel drawn to it more each time I come here. This is home, this great West, all of it, from the arid deserts of Arizona to the snow-covered peaks of Colorado and the green, rolling hills of Wyoming. There is truly nothing like it in all the world, not one place that can match its beauty, its endless horizons, its thousands of miles of snowy peaks, its delicate ecology. It is wide and wild and beautiful, and it is colorful, full of a unique history unmatched in its rapid growth, its wild and wonderful settlement. It grows on you. I can see why those who came here, whether for gold, to settle, whatever the reason, could never go back east and be the same – or could go back and not return again and again, finally to stay. If I could, I would never, never go home – never.