One learns to hope that nature possesses an order that one may aspire to comprehend.

—C. N. Yang


Chapter 1Discovering an Orderly World

It has taken us a long while to get here—a nine-mile hike up a gradual ascent over rocky paths. My horse, newly trained to pack equipment and still an amateur, has bumped against my back, bruised my heels, and finally, unavoidably, stepped on my toe, smashing it against the inside of my boot. But it’s been worth it. Here are the American Rockies at their clichéd best. The stream where I sit soaking my feet glistens on for miles I can’t see, into green grasses that bend to the wind. There are pine trees, mountains, hawks, and off at the far edge of the meadow a moose who sees us and moves to hide her great girth ...

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