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A reading vacation

My wife (Linda) and I are going to do something we have only talked about for years: A vacation. 

Medicine Bow National Forest
Medicine Bow National Forest

Mind, we live in a log house high (9,000 feet up) in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, a place where many people come to have their vacations.  Medicine Bow National Forest, The Zirkel Wilderness, and Steamboat Springs State Park are part of our world. I need only walk a hundred yards and I’m deep into Routt National Forest.  On a clear day I can look down into the valley and there, some sixty miles away, is Flat Tops National Forest.  Hahns Peak (10,843 feet high) dominates our back-yard view. On the other side is Iron Mountain. Post Office (no local delivery) is twelve miles away. The nearest super-market is thirty miles away. We’ve already had two inches of snow. Quite a change for a NYC boy. 

Yesterday, when I woke up and looked out the window, I saw a buck with a many-pointed rack of horns. With him was a doe, and two spotted fawns.  The perfect forest family, a few feet from my front door. Bambi, in real life. 

Mid-summer, huge, lumbering RVs come along our narrow roads, many with expressive names emblazoned on them, names like “Solitude,” or “Escape,” or once, even “Roughing It.” 

The last vacation we took —two years ago–was to Venice, Italy.  Poor me, I had to do research for a book I am still writing.  

What’s special about the vacation we are about to take? 

It’s what we call a “reading vacation.” 

The idea is simple: we have booked into a resort that rents out small (Covid-clean) cabins. We will spend four days reading. No work allowed. Food delivered to our door. 

The Lying Life of Adults and Vesper Flights

We are both big readers so that there has been much discussion about what to read.  We have even ordered special books. Linda has a copy of Elena Ferrante’s new novel, The Lying Life of Adults as well as Helen Macdonald’s collection of essays, Vesper Flights.  I have a copy of John Le Carre’s latest, Agent Running in the Field and Ali and Nino, a novel first published in 1937 written by an unknown writer. (Highly recommended by my brother). 

Agent Running in the Field and Ali and Nino

Weather depending, we’ll hike, ride bikes, but reading is what this break is all about. We are both excited by it.  We will be living what our bumper sticker proclaims: 

BETTER READ THAN DEAD 

(You have to be a certain age to get the joke.)

1 thought on “A reading vacation”

  1. This is wonderful! Do you happen to need a house-sitter while away? I’m very good at cleaning, care of pets, minding plants, and sorting of mail. Just kidding (mostly)! Though your neighborhood is beautiful. By the way, your “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” was the inspiration of my first real poem at age 12. So thank you for that. Happy vacation!

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