Friday, October 16, 2015

Home Again

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:


Charles Gramlich said...

Oh my gosh that sounds so wonderful. I'm envious

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

I could stand being off the grid, but I would prefer a little more head room, if you catch my drift ;). Welcome back, glad your break was beautiful, and your feline companions will come around ... you know they will.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Steve is very happy you are home. Terrific pictures. Sabena

Lynne said...

We've had the longest, mildest Fall in years and I'm so glad the weather held for your trip. Spokane has been as nice as McCall was for you...except we need rain. Glad you had such a great vacation. And I'm sure Steve and the "children" are glad you're back.

cs harris said...

Charles, yeah, I'm a bit green, too--although I'm not sure I could take the winters.

Barbara, they are REALLY sulky!

Sabena, yes, I think he was tired of taking care of the cats and the garden all by himself.

Lynne, it was so lovely. But you're right, they do really need rain. Actually, so do we--we're having a terrible drought.

Susan J. said...

So glad you had such a relaxing time, although it's a shame Steve could not go with you. I hope you take him on your next trip, wherever that may be. I hate being away from my own Steve, we've only been parted, in almost forty years of marriage, when we were studying with the Open University and went to separate summer schools!
I found your photographs fascinating. It all looks so different from England, the sky is indeed so blue and the deserted Finnish town of Roseberry looks so sad. It reminds me of a spaghetti western! I could just imagine Clint Eastwood stepping off the train with a cigar in his mouth!

Willa said...

Wonderful pictures! Sounds like you had a great time and now the cats are going to make you suffer for it! Lol!

Looking forward to your "Jamie - why I did it" post as that was my question! And am dying to know the answer!

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Szuanne said...

It looks so beautiful. I am glad you had such a good holiday. Give the cats time. Many years ago I babysat Mum and Dad's dog while they were on holiday. When they came home refused to look at them and played deaf for the best part of a week. They well and truly knew his opinion of this holiday business.

JustWingingIt said...

I've never been to Idaho but it looks absolutely gorgeous. I'm glad you got a little time to rest and recharge. Those moments are always welcome!


Anonymous said...

Candy - what a great trip! I loved your pictures and you are so right that sky doesn't even look real its so blue. Idaho sounds like my kind of place. Hiking and Pina Coladas! And that last picture could be of the new "Grumpy Cat". Best, Ali

cs harris said...

Susan, it is VERY different from England. And yes, it's really frustrating not being able to holiday together.

Willa, hopefully I'll get to it this week.

Suzanne, ha! And yes, they are really letting me know they are not happy with me.

Veronica, it is a gorgeous place. Well, the mountains are. I don't like the desert-like southern part.

Ali, I had forgotten how blue the sky is--and that at night you can still see the Milky Way there. Here in New Orleans we're lucky to see a dozen stars.

paz said...

Thank you for sharing those pictures. They brought back great memories of when we went to Yellowstone a couple of years back. We just absolutely fell in love with the scenery "outwest". The only place that compares for me is Iceland, which I also LOVE. The difference in Iceland is that you can hike everywhere without ever fearing bears; in most places its you, nature, and the every present sheep. Oh, also the ever present rainbow (it does rain more and there are many more waterfalls). I hear New Zeland also has those views, though I have never been there.

cs harris said...

Paz, I have never been to Iceland, although I did make an emergency landing there once. It was so beautiful, I've wanted to go back and see it ever since. And I love New Zealand, although of course the vegetation is very different.

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