I'm back home after ten glorious days in the mountains of Idaho.
I spent much of my youth in Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado, so this was in many ways a homecoming for me. My sister and her husband retired to the resort town of McCall five years ago and their lifestyle is truly enviable, their playground a clear, glacial lake, swiftly rushing river, and miles of trails through the woods for hiking and skiing, all capped by a sky so blue it almost hurts to look at it. We spent many hours just sitting on the porch of her rambling old Victorian farmhouse, sipping pina coladas, watching her horse and donkey graze in the pasture, tossing the frisbee for her dog, and talking about the publishing industry, because my sister just happens to be the NYT bestselling author Penelope Williamson.
The weather was unbelievably warm. One day we drove up to the old mining camp of Burgdorf and spent ages soaking in the old mineral hot springs. Then we climbed out and sat in the sun for a couple of hours. In our wet bathing suits. In the mountains of Idaho. In October.
Burgdorf is an incredible place literally miles from nowhere; just blue sky (yes, it really is that blue!) and mountains and pine trees and old, collapsed cabins that are slowly being refurbished for people who don't mind holidays without running water or electricity.
And then there was Roseberry, once an old Finnish settlement, now a ghost town:
Needless to say, I had a wonderful time. But I also did some work on my next Sebastian St. Cyr book (well, okay; on the planes and in the airports!). On Monday I'll be getting back to work. But I suspect I'll spend most of the weekend making things up to these guys, who are very, very unhappy with me: