WSJ MagazineGearing up for a long week on the road this month, the annual 500-mile guerrilla book tour—Death Valley, LA, Bakersfield, Sequoia/Kings, Fresno, Yosemite, Sacramento, San Francisco, then back (with luck and some good warm weather) over Tioga to home... The iPod and the air conditioning have grown unreliable. The rear passenger-side window is taped shut. The summer tires are half bald, and cornering to the left there's that exhausted suspension-groan on the right, harbinger of the stoppage of all things. Why do we feel the need to move like this, asks William Least Heat-Moon in a recent essay in WSJ magazine? Because it levels us, he says. Because it forces us beyond ourselves, beyond the solipsism of online social networking and the relentless tide of information—because it is a form of prayer. "On a stretch of open road," he writes, "a driver can roll along with his window reflection laid over the landscape ahead so that he must see through himself to see the territory." I'm looking forward to seeing how we've changed—me and the territory—since last I ran these roads, since last I lived the passage of time through the squashed yellow guts of butterflies.