Greetings from Mullen, Nebraska this fine Monday morning. The little town park is stirring to life, the mourning doves are cooing in the trees, and the robins and meadowlarks are singing. ‘My Ruby Slippers,’ Captain Trips, the Bookmobile and I have just passed the half way point in our journey. In fact we’re closing in on six weeks.
The book tour stops will come thick and fast in the next two weeks, and I feel Kansas coming closer and closer. So take a breather and enjoy a few postcards from our vacation days out west.
If there were any justice in the world, these little guys would have won the Charlie Chaplin Look-Alike contest in Bellingham, Washington. Last held in 1931, the competition brought out more than 50 contestants. I was not one of them.
Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument: a giant field of lava flows and volcanic formations. Fantastic, otherworldly and hopeful. The earth is alive. Look at those little green plants taking hold.
The Grand Tetons, with me and the Bookmobile blocking your view.
In Yellowstone National Park, my career as a horsewoman begins. We were given two instructions before our 2-hour trail ride: don’t let your horse eat grass, and don’t let him trot. Walking only. Big, slow drag. Sonny wanted to trot, I wanted to gallop, and he definitely wanted to eat grass, and sage, and shrubs, and wildflowers. Who wouldn’t?
Bison watching in Yellowstone is a national sport, and these big animals rule the park. On our last day there, we got in a massive bison jam. At dusk, when a group of bison decide to cross the road to get from one green pasture to another, they get to. Which means traffic stops and humans watch. And the whole circus reminds us that humans aren’t on this planet alone.
Take care of the planet wherever you are, and if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of the ‘My Ruby Slippers’ tour, come on down. Dates and places for Nebraska and Kansas:
July 13: Book Worm, Omaha, 6 pm. / July 14: Chapters Books, Seward, NE 5:30 pm / July 16: Barnes & Noble, Overland Park, 2 pm. / July 19: Raven Books, Lawrence, KS, 7 pm / July 20: Lindsborg Public Library, noon / July 20: Watermark Books, Wichita, 7 pm / July 21: Rockwell Library, Wichita, 7 pm / July 23: Hays Public Library, Hays, KS, 2 pm