I wanted to know was it was like to float alone in silent space. To be weightless. To walk on an alien planet. To feel time stand still.
Although my astronaut dream eventually faded into a childhood memory, my desire to visit another world did not. As much as I love the ocean, the mountains, the depths of a redwood forest… the desert will always have a special place in my heart.
Last summer, I found myself standing at the mouth of a lava tube in Washington state. The August sun was was hot on my back, but as I looked down into the cave, the cold breeze, seemingly coming from the center of the earth itself, blew back at my face. I reached up, clicked my headlamp on and sent one last glance behind me before descending into the darkness.