Monday, August 21, 2006


This American sojourn rounds itself off at the Sundance Ranch in Utah. The rest of the state is neat and tidy in an all-American clean-cut 1950s kind of way, new housing developments each tucked around their own new temple. Sundance has a more rustic log-cabin feel, sitting smoothly into its mountain environment. It's a treat to be up in these Wasatch mountains, in a cabin on the slope of Mount Timpanogos. The first outing was up to Timpanagos cave, a sequence of three linked caves 1,065 feet up a trail, beautiful formations inside, but most fun of all the chance to walk through a fault. A river made the walkway possible, the two rock faces, distinctly different, fusing again overhead.
From the Ranch a chairlift takes you up to a whole network of trails. Yesterday's brought us down past Stewart Falls, a powerful high tumble of water and spray. Today saw us ascend and descend on foot. The aspen groves here offer birding delights - yesterday my first sighting of a magnolia warbler. I'm also pleased to be reminded how aspen groves are all the one plant, trees sharing the same root system. My every writing day is punctuated with some walk into nature, but I have needed this longer break among truly mighty peaks. I feel myself restored by the day, ready for the next writing run - this next time among the French Pyrenees.


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