A pale pall of smoke hovers over my city today, a charred odor noticeable as soon as I set foot out the door. There are no fires in my city, nor even in my county. But there are over 800 fires burning in the state of California (no exaggeration), and the smoke from all of these has formed a large cloud that hangs over most of the state. The sky is tinged orange by the obscured sun and the combination of the radiant orange light and the smell of smoke make me I feel like I am in Dante’s Hell, which is very appropos to my current work on digital layout of the Dante catalogue. (Almost ready to send a final draft off for a critique!)
I am just about ready to go on my trip, so I’ll probably be out of contact until the end of the weekend, when I will attempt to blog from the road. I’ve updated my “What I’m Reading List” over in the sidebar. Take a look if you like. Pure summer-related fare with one serious novel (Ron Hansen’s Exiles), and one Laura Ingalls Wilder book thrown in for the trip.
What I think of as a sort of reverse-pioneer trail (going West to East) awaits us as we journey through seven states. Though we’ll see lots of great things (and lots of kitschy things like The Reptile Pit and Robert’s Prarie Dog Town) along the way, for me, this is a pilgrimage to the home of that writer whose work sparked in me a love of reading, a love of history, and a secret desire to live on a farm — Laura Ingalls Wilder.
The adventure awaits. If there’s one thing of which I am sure, with Tom and Huck along for the ride, this trip promises lots of adventure.
See you on the prairie!