It’s a time of abundance in this life held by a little log cabin in the woods. Our work world is full (check out Sand Creek Tree Service for a glimpse at the busier side of our life), the garden has peaked, our firewood is nearly in, we have a freezer full of berries and a cupboard full of jam. Plus, we’re now embarking on the greatest journey of our lives: parenthood. The little one is due December 12, and by the feel of things, he or she is excited to have more room to flail about come winter. We can’t wait to finally feel the grasp of fingers that for now keep pushing against the barrier of my belly.
In the midst of all this bounty and wonder, I’m also enjoying my first book tour, this in support of Blow Sand in His Soul: Bates Wilson, the Heart of Canyonlands. August found me in Salt Lake City and Moab, engaging in interviews with radio personalities and newspapers, signing books at the national parks, attending meetings, giving talks and sharing readings. It was a whirlwind and a joy, coming with a sense of affirmation and exhilaration. As I flew out of Moab on my journey home from Round One, my exhaustion was held at bay by an upwelling of gratitude for the place and the community that made this whole thing possible. My world would not be what it is without the people and places of the Colorado Plateau.
Round Two finds me back in Utah in September to help celebrate Canyonlands National Park’s 50th birthday. The park was signed into being September 12, 1964, thanks in large part to the efforts of Bates Wilson. As a means of honoring the man, the park, and this momentous occasion, I will be offering a reading and discussion at the Grand County Public Library, presenting to area high school classes, signing books and speaking at a Canyonlands film festival event, and giving a talk at the big birthday bash in the Needles (along with renowned author, historian and conservationist Douglas Brinkley). It is another whirlwind in the making. As I sit at my small desk (a repurposed wooden pallet with white pine legs) in the corner of our loft (my old office is now the baby’s room), it is hard to imagine being out in the world in such a public way again. But it will happen, and it will again be a wonder.
My thanks to the Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks for making this book – and the subsequent tour – possible. Also, gratitude to Andy at Back of Beyond Books for his help every step of the way and for throwing a helluva book party (replete with surprise refreshments). I look forward to eventually introducing our little one to all the people that made my time in the Desert Southwest so special.