Archive for November, 2016

Road Trip: Day 100 and the last

Posted: November 7, 2016 by Jollymore in Uncategorized

Dateline: Ogden, Utah

Ogden is a bit like Oakland in its secondary position to a nearby “first class city,” in Ogden’s case Salt Lake City. According to some locals I interviewed SLC looks down a narrow nose at Ogden, and the latter just keeps on going. A walk from my hotel to Union Station tells that story, 25th street now being the craft brewing, night-living, entrepreneurial section of town, even on a Sunday night. Transplants from Seattle, SLC, and Orange County, California spoke of the vibrancy of Portland, Oregon and the affordability of the Midwest. Here, you can be a Millennial on a dime.

I’m in the west:

That is clear. I haven’t seen mountains for three months or a LDS temple for that matter.

For some reason I’ve scored a corner suite each time out west, first in Cheyenne (see day 99) and now at The Historic Ben Lomand Hotel in Ogden. There are benefits gleaned from writing that one never imagines.

Only a novelist needs five pillows (and three layers of top sheets to boot). The history and architecture of the place is odd enough, good for Ogden,  that alone to merit a visit. Note that Ogdenians marry, and when they do they marry at The Ben Lomand.

Notes: the central portion of the hotel (now three stories) was chopped down from seven stories (its tower removed) and in 1927 was banked on two sides by an eleven story L which houses the hall on the right (reminiscent, at my first glance, of a KKK meeting hall). Upstairs in the lower section, on the mezzanine is the banquet and dance halls for the newlyweds and company.

My views from two of my five windows in the suite.

I’ve “gassed up” at Penny’s Diner and am on the way across the salt flats toward Nevada where I will catch another hour lost this July and reunite with Carol on Election Day.

Yippee Kai Yea. Thank you for following my Road Trip blog.



Road Trip: Day 99

Posted: November 6, 2016 by Jollymore in Uncategorized

Dateline: Cheyenne, Wyoming

Now I’m traveling. Seeing the sights and, after sleeping under the stars in Louisville, Nebraska S.R.A. next to the tracks where, according to the kiosk-manager, “I warn you, trains come by every fifteen minutes all night long,” I am for the time being sleeping indoors, tonight at the Historic Plains Hotel.  Incidentally, the park manager was right, the trains did run all night long, perhaps every 30 minutes. My most dreadful worry was to be awakened by the horn, but the nearest crossing was a quarter mile away so it wasn’t loud.

Inside or out I arise early – with the turn to Mountain Time  as opposed to Central Daylight Time, I woke before 4:00 today. Happy travels.

The manager at HPH upgraded the writer to a suite. Sweet.

On to Ogden.

Road Trip: Day 98

Posted: November 6, 2016 by Jollymore in Uncategorized

Dateline: Indianola, Iowa

It is hard to say goodbye. After nearly 100 days selling books, thinking of selling books, talking about books, dreaming about books, it seems one cannot just drive off into the sunset. Surely, that’s not me.

Originally, my exit strategy was: finish the Totally Criminal Cocktail Hour, jump in the Subaru, and drive south then west as fast as I could. But it occurred to me it might be a waste to pass by bookstores whose owners and managers I had met at Heartland Fall Forum but whose bookstores I had not seen. Along the way (in order of my visit and all in Iowa) were Bookworld in Fort Dodge,  Plot Twist Bookstore in Ankeny, The Book Vault in Oskaloosa, Pageturners Bookstore in Indianola, and Beaverdale Books in Des Moines.  Each is, and was, well worth the visit. See them online!

(L) The Book Vault (keeping three vaults open and unlocked), (LC) Indianola is the place to plan your wedding, (RC) a touch of Tiffany’s in Iowa, (R) a home grown coffee chain (four stores), this one in Oskaloosa.

Racing across the Nebraska state line, it occurred to me that visiting the three remaining stores in Omaha and Lincoln might delay me too much from my 450 mile drive to Cheyenne. “Give it a rest, Tim. Stop the insanity.” Once I left Lincoln behind unvisited, I felt lightened, more like a West Coast writer unchained. So I drove.

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Oskaloosa’s square, railroad overpass on highway 92,  the interior of Smokey Row cafe, a church on the square and a passing shot of Des Moines center.

Road Trip: Day 97

Posted: November 3, 2016 by Jollymore in Uncategorized

Dateline: Stillwater, Minnesota

Ah, at last the final event on the long and busy calendar. After 14,000 miles the “day is done.”

Before appearing at “The Totally Criminal Cocktail Hour” sponsored by The Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, I prepared in the best possible fashion: taking a last-1walk.


The Lake Elmo Park Reserve is nearby and I walked the one-way, lighted cross country trails dutifully following the guiding arrows though before the snow flies and during the day it makes little difference. (Note: the lights point in the direction of travel to avoid glare, and it is, therefore, important to follow the one-way flow. The cross country track, I imagine, is a single one which demands no one meets headon).





The Reserve was sparsely populated, the campground totally empty (and without running water at this time of year), making my walk peaceful. Sun and mild temperatures flew me to California.

The TCCH readers praised The Advent of Elizabeth roundly. Sales were brisk! Lots to love in that venue.


Road Trip: Day 96

Posted: November 2, 2016 by Jollymore in Uncategorized

Dateline: Buffalo, Excelsior, and Stillwater, Minnesota

With little to do until meeting friends for wine and cheese (I had Perrier) at The Elephant Walk B & B, I stopped by bookstores and libraries in Buffalo and Excelsior Bay (where the Queen of the Lake – Minnetonka docks in summer) before crossing the Twin Cities for the town by the St. Croix.

Sitting in the noonday sun at Buffalo Books and Coffee. A couple on the street spent their lunch break tossing the football. (They made me put away the camera and join them for a one-pass-trial).  Minnesota libraries (and Wisconsin’s, too) make great vantage point overlooking lakes, waterfalls, and rivers. Here Buffalo Library sits on the shore of Buffalo Lake.

A notable sign in Excelsior Bay says, “Welcome to the best gas station on earth!” Well, if you don’t have a public restroom, you can’t be the best station on earth. The bookstore, though, and the library, too, are very fine.

I arrived at The Elephant Walk in time to receive Davyd’s call from California. A wonderful chat.

Oddly blue berries, the canopy but all mosquitoes are dead, the chat seat, and wine and cheese for Bonnie and Vince.