OK, so controversy over the government actions against the Branch Davidians is fading from the mainstream. Reports clearing the feds of the most egregious accusations have surfaced, and civil trials have fizzled like wet fireworks. The fact remains, the siege of Mt. Carmel was a definitive moment in U.S. history, a debate flash point over freedom of religion and the responsibilities and limits of government. The place is beautiful and eerie, and the characters who flock there are intriguing and relevant. There is something pure about going to a place that has no signposts off the highway, no official markers or souvenir shop. It's simply the Place where Something Happened, undistilled and unvarnished. The real pain in the ass is knowing how to get there. Here are directions: Take Interstate 35 to North Loop 340 and turn eastward. Continue to FM 2491 and turn left onto it. Follow it to Double E Ranch Road. Turn left onto Double E Ranch Road. Follow it approximately 1/4 mile to the entrance of Mt. Carmel on the right. You'll see a rebuilt church and a small building where David Koresh's mother sometimes lurks.