“I leave Park City grateful for my years there, for the comfort I found in a place where every nook and cranny became as familiar to me as drawing a breath. … but I did learn something anyway about what’s important in life: a stand of aspen trees, still green but just about to go golden, and first turns on a bright, blue morning after the high desert and angels have been making powder all day.” Pam Houston (83)
Substitute Park City with every mountain town (east and west) that I’ve lived in. I miss that life. I like where I live now but living in rural towns in the east and west seem like a simpler more beautiful life. I remember driving up Killington’s access road to the ah ha moment you see the peak. I loved driving south on Route 40 in Grand County and see the Continental Divide in the distance; colors always changing. I remember the rocky summits that surrounded Tucson and how surprised I was that the hiking and mountain biking were so good.
I remember dogs running off and getting into trouble, making list of trails to hike, hiking above treeline for miles above Winter Park.
And road trips with dogs, now both gone to dog heaven. I miss it all.
Me? The West.
Today I started reading House of Rain, Tracing A Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest by Craig Childs. I’ve been debating off and on for the last few months about a trail run in Monument Valley. It’s an ultra race – 50 miles. But in reality, I’ll probably just do the 50K. I hope.
I’ve been reading books about the southwest these days. I lived in Arizona for over three years and now I can’t stop reading about anything west of the Mississippi.
I’ve always been fascinated with the West. Really, the American Northwest. However, I moved to Colorado in 2004 and then in 2012 moved to Tucson not knowing anything about the desert except that I could bike year-round. I learned a lot about the desert when I was there, but now I’m really studying it.
Sometimes it takes distance to learn and understand people and places.
Tonight I am reading about the Colorado Plateau, canyons, mesas, mountains at 13,000 feet, Anasazi, flash floods and geomorphology. Words that sound so western.
I want to be a Western American writer, Western American literature reader, and Western American Literature scholar. The third thing – I know – lofty.
But I’ve always had lofty goals. Sometimes I reach my goals and sometimes I fail miserably. I know what I like and what I need to learn. Tonight I’m just trying to learn why the Anasazi disappeared and to go on an adventure with Mr. Childs. First stop, Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico.