Utah is an odd state--the most beautiful, I think--because it is one thing but also another. It is red and hot in the desert--in the south--while the north has the cool and the blue forests and mountains, which smell of fir and snow. And like so many things, when seen from a distance, they look unattainable, like a mystery or a promise.
--Rick Bass, The Watch
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. . . . If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.
--H. D. Thoreau, Walden
Y'all are crazy.
--A., a friend of C.'s and mine
But she could ride horses here.
--my sister, quoting my cousin D.
When do you leave for Colorado?
--my mother-in-law, distracted by her upcoming trip to Greece and Turkey
But who will look after L. and S. while you're gone?
--my mother, from beyond the grave
Trevor, the yellow parrot, who has always made his own inner clock the law of the land, will instruct the guys as to when they ought to get up and when they ought to go to bed--quite loudly at that. L. has a doctor's appointment and S. has a drama class, but otherwise the week is their own to fill. I think they'll do just fine.
I found my long underwear (in the drawer where it belonged!), so the only new clothes I've had to buy have been the riding boots and gloves and the rain gear. I've been crazy so long the concept no longer contains any interest for me. Colorado I'll get to eventually.
I am not opposed to riding horses in North Carolina. Not in the slightest. If my allergies don't give me fits in Utah, I'll be looking for riding opportunities here once we're back.
I've agonized over the number of books to take and the individual titles. How much time will there actually be to read once we're in the swell? Will I be exhausted in the evenings or will I lie awake wishing for something to take my mind off my aching muscles?
Unless I have a last minute change of heart I'm packing these:
Close Range. Annie Proulx
The Flame Trees of Thika. Elspeth Huxley
Letters From Yellowstone. Diane Smith
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. Mark Bittner
The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
The Outlaw Trail. Charles Kelly
And, a few links before I go:
Calvin and Hobbes
The Tiger Strikes Again and Bill Watterson's speech at Kenyon College
On politics, presidents and librarians (guess which one he likes)
The Reign of Phil website
An interview with Robert Birnbaum
new books on Hercules and Helen of Troy