Oh, these high latitudes and their irresistible magnetic pull. Hold up any compass and the needle will point where I want to be, at any given time. Sure, I appreciate that I am not a compass and can set my path in any direction I please, and value my freedom to reside in one comfortable place and visit many others. But there's something alluring about North. I have yet to define what continues to draw me up here, or capture the specific sensations so I can carry them home. But that something clings to these places like hoarfrost, with an enchanting sparkle that never fails to incite happiness. I feel it when I walk across the Styrofoam snow of a friend's driveway at 20 below, or pass by the heat-blasting fans in the entryway of Fred Meyer, or pedal through a boreal forest in the 4 p.m. twilight. I may not live here; I might not have ever lived here. But I'm home.