The deep Skykomish river valley fog lays heavy on these small towns, reaching tendril clouds up the green slopes to caress brutal rock summits. Some early mornings, the warm breezes sweep the fog away, and from my house I can see the white caps of the Northern Cascades. Like the departing fog, awe envelopes me. To wake every morning with the immense opportunities inherent in the scope of those mountains is invigorating, like bathing in the glacial streams that flow down to the reflective lakes. I think about why I moved from the small, softly rolling hills and clingy humidity of the Mid-West, and why now I live among these snow-laden monoliths and emerald valleys. These are things I've seen, in places I've been, that made me know I was in the right place.