Saturday, November 03, 2007

Colorado and the West

This is Donis typing.

It's obviously travel time for the authors on this blog. I just returned to Arizona day-before-yesterday from my Women Writing the West conference/Colorado book tour, tired but happy. I've been traveling and doing appearances for about a month, since Drop Edge of Yonder came out at the end of September. Not nearly the schedule that some of my compatriots have been keeping, but then I think I may have a year or two of age on them. Funny how much energy I left back in my 40's.

But, howsoever wimpy a traveler I may be, I loved the trip. I'm always amazed at how vast and beautiful the West is. I adored Colorado. I haven't been up there in many years, since I was a teenager. I thought it was spectacular then, and my youthful opinion was reconfirmed ten times over. Both my husband Don and I have sisters who live in the Denver area. Mine lives right in Denver, and his lives in Monument, which is between Denver and Colorado Springs, where my conference was. Thanks to our sisters and their families, we were driven around the area a lot, both the view the scenery and so that I could call on as many libraries and bookstores as I could find. We visted the cities of Colorado Springs, Monument, Limon, Canon City, Manitou Springs, Estes Park, as well as the Rocky Mountain National Park, where we found lots of elk but no bookstores. My sister spent quite a bit of time showing us Denver after my program at the Tattered Cover, and I have to say, that as much as I liked the lovely, nature-filled smaller towns, and as much as I dislike big cities, I loved Denver. It is filled with beautiful old, tree-lined neighborhoods, full of charm and history.

We drove home down I-25 from Denver to Santa Fe - land of the flat roofs and turquoise bridges - and spent a night. Don and I used to visit Santa Fe a lot, especially when we lived in Lubbock, TX, in the 70's, and we still like to go back there on special occasions. It has changed a lot in the last thirty years, but it's still spectacular. I think sometimes that I've been there so many times that the thrill will surely be gone, but it's never happened yet. There're reasons it has the reputation it does.

Not the least of which is the food. New Mexico has a cuisine like no other place, and we take full advantage every time we go back. It's a great way to clear the sinuses, too.

We spent our last night on the road in Flagstaff, AZ, which meant that we did not sleep below 6000 feet for nearly two weeks. Then we made the easy drive home to Tempe right through the middle of my breathtaking Arizona mountains, which are a totally different creation than the Colorado Rockies, but just as incredible. We got home early in the afternoon on Halloween day, just in time to drag ourselves to the store to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters. And now the laundry is done and the bills are paid, and I don't have another program to do for two weeks, so it's time to write.

And, post-script, I was notified by the publisher that they're holding a copy of The Old Buzzard Had It Coming on tape for me, which I will pick up next week. After reading Vickie's and Charles' experiences, I can't wait to hear what my reader sounds like. I suggested that they ask for someone with a twangy accent, but I'll be happy if they found someone who can properly pronounce Muskogee.

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