Joe & Kato say hi! We hope that you’re enjoying the tail end of your summer. We have been having very exciting times on our road trip. The husband (Joe), dog (Kato), and I left Washington last Wednesday, popped over to Idaho, dropped down into Salt Lake City, and then even further down into St. George, Utah. For the today’s purposes, “popped” means “drove ten hours, stopped at the Idaho Border, ate food from a sketchy taco stand, and got bitten by giant mosquitoes, all before arriving at my friend Sarah’s house at 10pm due to the fact that I forgot Idaho was an hour ahead of us.” Don’t worry, I’ll send Sarah a big Christmas present.
In Salt Lake, we stopped for a speaking engagement for the Salt Lake City Library system. (That’s right, tax deducted vacation here I come.) We met some librarians for dinner and then I talked at people about writing and my books for about an hour. It was a fun evening and I have to say that I just love librarians – book people make me feel at home. Sadly, they also kick my butt in the So What Have You Read Recently Olympics. The worst part was that I was tag teaming with my husband against one librarian; we haven’t been that soundly trounced since the last time we visited my agent.
From Salt Lake we drove down to St. George to visit one of my husband’s groomsmen. “Men” being a misnomer in this instance, since, with a pair of double D’s leading the way, Lee Ann is very clearly woman. Lee Ann, in case you are thinking about doing crime in the St. George area, is a parole officer, carries a Glock, and is six feet tall. Basically, I don’t recommend doing crime in the St. George area. If it weren’t for a bum knee, she’d probably be wearing spandex and leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Lee Ann has been graciously taking us hiking, showing us some amazing scenery, telling us tales of Colorado City (where the polygamists live) and Cane Beds (where the crazies live) and the difference between LDS (Church of Latter Day Saints) and the polygamist cults – and yes, there are big differences. But, from my own observation, the most obvious thing about the LDS population is that they appear to be… preppy. That’s right, they are an Izod loving people. I had no idea.
On Sunday we climbed up to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. It’s a two-mile mostly vertical hike up Walter’s Wiggles (a series of 21 switchbacks), and then another half mile that takes you out a long a spine of rock to spectacular view of the park from 5785 ft above sea level. The last portion of the trail is a scrambling route lined with heavy metal chains. These are not guardrails – they are so you can hold onto them and climb your way up. It’s got the highest death rate in the park. Also, it was having a wee bit of a rainstorm while we there. It should be noted that today “wee” means “deluge.” But we triumphed, did not get struck by lightening, and even made it back down for some Oscar’s carrot cake the size of my head.
Today we’re heading for the Valley of Fire. I’m sure nothing could go wrong there – not with a lovely name like that. We’ll send you a postcard! And don’t forget to leave the light on for us.