Mountain/Plains Tour

On the road with the bookstore. Setting up in new places that have been delightful. Pocatello, ID (population 56,000) reminded me to appreciate coming into a town, meeting new people, hearing stories from those who lived there all their lives, and those who just moved in. Then on to Salt Lake City (population 200,100) – a treat setting up at The King’s English Bookshop and meeting a fascinating group of individuals at dinners after I closed my bookstore for the day. Reminded by a young environmentalist there is hope but we all must try harder. And I appreciated friendships between people I met who had been neighbors with each other for decades.

A day off yesterday in Denver (716,000) to meet friends, do laundry, catch up on emails. Friday and Saturday setting up at Fiction Beer which is the ideal place for a bookstore gig.  And then on to Nebraska with stops in Kearney and Lincoln! So thoroughly enjoy the traveling bookstore business. Still mystified that more people don’t get a van and start their own bookstore, stopping at towns and cities, meeting people and hearing their stories, having time while driving across mountains, plains to reflect on it all.

And there are so many stories even on a trip that lasts less than a month. A man at dinner explained ham radio and told us about postcards (QSL cards) some operators send to each other they meet on the airwaves. A person described his antique business and all the beautiful glass he still has after retiring. But what will happen to it since his adult children don’t care for it? People tell me about their lives and why they don’t volunteer (my personal default is everyone should volunteer at least a few hours each month if not more). I get to think about differences – I’m content to be on the road for a month, while a woman told me between her pets and job, she doesn’t like to be gone from home for even a week.

I try hard to pay attention to the individuals who come to experience the traveling bookstore. The couple with a small girl, the man a potter who said the bookstore was magic and then his daughter found a book she wanted to give her grandmother.  A young woman quietly tells me about an abusive relationship she left and how her faith helped her find the strength to leave it.

There are times when it feels overwhelming. With the driving and the stories, keeping the bookstore neat and well-stocked, trying to keep it all together. But then the bartender at Fiction Beer brings out samples of Wordless Wilderness which feels like an elixir at the end of the day. Crafted to taste and look like the ocean wetlands marsh from the novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Blue spirulina powder gives the beer its blue hue. Mildly tart with a splash of marsh salt on the finish, we crafted this Gose with equal parts German pilsner and wheat malts, finishing it with glasswort infused sea salt. A small addition of magnolia blossom infused simple syrup offers a true southern twist of floral and ginger character.

A traveling bookstore life is rather remarkable.

3 thoughts on “Mountain/Plains Tour

  1. Rejena here.. fellow worker on the road. I once was an instructor of younger minds that now travels the country’s highways and byways for funds, writing inspiration, and to keep the wanderlust at bay. My dream since I was little was to own Rejena’s Cabin Bookstore…Someday…. I’ll finish the business plan and start off on that thrilling journey. But today, I fill my time with sights, smells, tastes, and sounds from the road while I pilot everything from cabins to windmills to rockets to their final destinations or at least their next respite.

    I hope your time in Denver was grand. You’ve shared such wonders, how could it be anything but?

    I’m off to peak around your van via this site… can’t wait to see what’s inside.

    All my best fellow journey woman—
    See you on the trail.

    Like

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