Two years ago this June, I committed to an idea: visiting all the places my family lived and writing about it. I took the journey that fall, and it brought me to this beautiful area - a place I resided before memory and only knew through stories and photos. Surprisingly, I found more of myself here than any of the places I remembered living. You can read all about that when I finish the book! Soon!
One year ago this July, on our way to Washington for my cousin's wedding, Chris and I decided to pass this way together and stay with friends whose visit coincided with ours. At that time I learned about the Aspen Institute and Aspen Summer Words. I quietly decided to submit work for the juried writing retreat in summer 2012. I took the risk, and I am honored to say I was selected as one of 12 participants in a narrative nonfiction workshop during the festival. I'm excited about all this week will offer. I'm thrilled it takes place in a location so dear to me.
Here's the condensed but not really brief rundown of my travel day:
This morning I landed in Denver and picked up the newest and largest beast of an automobile I've ever driven. I tried to go with my "live the dream" theme and asked for a Jeep, since I've always wanted one but have always talked myself out of it for practical purposes. Unfortunately, the rental company was out of them. Since a Porsche was obviously not an option, I settled for a 2012 Chevy Traverse. I'm not going to lie, I rather like it. It handles mountain passes with far more umph than the VW Golf I drove this way in 2010.
My first stop involved a brief drive through charming Georgetown, which started as a mining camp in the late 1800s. I just needed to say "hello." My mom told me about the community, and I fell in love with it when I visited in 2010. Someday I want to return for their Bighorn Sheep Festival. I stopped at the Bighorn Sheep Observation Area last visit, and I didn't see a single one. Maybe they only show for their big celebration.
Because I woke up at 4:14 am and was starting to feel its effects, I actually rested at the rest stop. My expansive rental car and compact body allowed me to comfortably sprawl out in back with my luggage. Once refreshed, I hiked around for a bit and refrained from telling everyone I met that I once lived there. I deemed myself Queen of Grizzly Creek. It's probably a special place to others for various reasons, but few can claim it was once their turf.
Early this evening, I checked into my hotel and planned to go out for dinner or to the hot springs or somewhere amazing. Instead, I can't stop writing. I guess that's kind of the point, isn't it? I'm already in the mode. It's going to be a great week.