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Back from Paradise!

October 4, 2010

I’ve returned from paradise. I was here:

I stood under this arch in Arches National Park (in south-eastern Utah), and I can safely say that if I were to emigrate south of the border, South-Eastern Utah is where I’d go! OK, let me rephrase and temper my post-trip enthusiasm somewhat: I’d like a pied-a-terre in the South East corner of Utah, preferably in or near the charming town of Moab, a mere 2 miles away from the national park that holds the stunning, amazing, otherwordly Delicate Arch, which you see before you on this photo (which I did not take, because I’m currently having a war with my computer who refuses to properly download the photos I did take — here at Birds and Words, we’re technologically challenged. After I hire my cook and cleaning-person and wardrobe consultant and personal shopper, technology whiz will be next, trust me).

I loved Moab — what other 5000 person town to you know of with THREE bookstores and “the best coffee in South-Eastern Utah“? I enjoyed three fabulous lattes and, alas, bought a book called An Ornithologist’s Guide to Life, solely based on its awesome, seductively BIRDY title, only to realize that, save for the last story, it really has nothing whatsoever to do with birds. Ah well… the stories are good nevertheless…

You know what else is so amazing about Arches National Park (and canyon country in general)? It’s totally silent. This was a complete revelation for me, since I’m used to landscapes with trees and leaves rustling constantly. Here at Arches, it was eerily silent. The sky was clear blue (not a single cloud in 8 days!), the rocks were red, the air was hot (38 degrees celcius!!) and dry and I could see for miles. I’ve never read a sci-fi novel, but it felt like I was inhabiting one! Honestly, I didn’t feel like I was anywhere near planet earth. My Tilley Hat got a fantastic workout over the course of the week. I think I would have died without it.

I saw many stunning ravens up close. In fact, I think I saw a couple engaging in something that resembled somewhat, verging on severely amorous behavior, but I could be entirely wrong. Anyhow, if I ever retrieve my photos, I’ll post a picture of said Common Ravens.

I did go to a Bird Zoo in Salt Lake City, but that was kinda creepy, and I’ll save the story for another day.

Returning to the Great Metropolis of Toronto was actually just fine. I used to dread coming home from trips, but now I’m fine with being home as well. It has its perks. What I’ve realized about traveling is that I’m a lousy birder without my group. I don’t really know what to look at and seem to forget my binoculars at all the wrong moments (or bring them along at the wrong moments) and then when I do see something worthwhile I have no idea what it is. I’m not yet much of a solo-birder. Verdict: Paradise was awesome, but so is being home.

Oh, and one last exciting thing about returning to the Great Metropolis: I got a copy of the latest Dalhousie Review. And…it has my First Ever Published Story!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2010 9:55 pm

    Congratulations, Julia! I will pick up a copy.

  2. October 5, 2010 12:12 am

    Sounds like a great trip to the desert. I have fond memories of my two months in New Mexico years ago but did not see the truly awesome sculpted rock landscapes of Utah. The heat nearly killed me, but what a unique environment and how rich and vivid all the colours were in that pure light, and the skies at night!! Yes, something very special about that part of the world.

    Thank god for the Tilley and hopefully the Chacos held up as well.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your story in print.

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