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Monday, January 23, 2017

Circumscribed Wanderlust

Eastern Brown Snake
aggressive, known for their nasty tempers
 Every time I read a Bill Bryson book, I want to visit the places he talks about.

OK, maybe not so much the Sunburned Country but that has more, to do with the colossal distance (a 23-42 hour plane ride!), cost (cheapest roundtrip flight I could find was $1,370!) and the fact that so much of their wildlife can kill me. In fact, apparently, they hold this as a goal. Also too:
"That’s the thing about Australia, you see. It teems with interesting stuff, but at the same time it’s so vast and empty and forbidding that it generally takes a remarkable stroke of luck to find it."
Salmon River and the Sawtooth Mountains
The Lost Continent didn’t inspire me to travel around the US more/again but then, I live here. I’ve already been most of the spots in the continental US that I really feel amped to see. Yes, I’d like to see the Craters of the Moon in Idaho and the Grand Tetons of Wyoming but the political climate out there makes these scary no-goes. I’m a middle aged, deaf, tippy, non-blonde, “unladylike,” makeup eschewing babe – hence a target for abuse even before I open my yap. I've got a keen sense of self-preservation, thenkyewveddymuch! Also too:
"In the morning I awoke early and experienced that sinking sensation that overcomes you when you first open your eyes and realize that instead of a normal day ahead of you, with its scatterings of simple gratifications, you are going to have a day without even the tiniest of pleasures; you are going to drive across Ohio."
Somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains
A friendly sheep on the Isle of Skye
A Walk in the Woods sparked me to hike the Appalachian Trail but, ya know, only in my imagination. I’ve always WANTED to be a hiker type – spend a day or 30 in the glory of the woods and mountains but, well, I could trip over a pebble while looking right at it. I could get tangled in brambles and brush while standing two feet away. I’m liable to fall off a mountain without any effort at all. Instead, I read other’s accounts and let my imagination run wild. AND...
"What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die of course. Literally shit myself lifeless."
Alright, alright….possibly he just inspires me to visit England and Wales. The Type Archive in London? Pembrokeshire in Wales? Stonehenge? Like...totally!

What about Scotland? I’m already thrilled about the place. Been there a few times or more and def look forward to going again. My dream is to trike the Isle of Skye. I fantasize about long walks (or mountain triking!) in the Outer Hebrides. The galleries and museums of Edinburgh exert a real solid pull – a tractor beam. I WILL get back there!

Now I want to reread Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe and I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away. Hells bells, I want to reread all his books. Also, I feel quite certain I’ve got a copy of The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way kicking around the house – must find it!
"It is a curious feature of our existence that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it."
~ from A Short History of Nearly Everything

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