One of the cool things about attending writing conventions and comic cons (and I haven't been to that many...) is getting to know people from around the world. Having spent most of my life in Utah, I'm always interested to hear what people think of our little state.
A few weeks ago I drove east getting to my home. The road appeared to go straight into a mountain. It reminded me of something a visiting writer said about Utah. We were at one of the early Salt Lake Comic Cons (back when it was called Salt Lake Comic Con...). A guest writer came in all the way from Georgia to attend the event.
The writer was James Ray Tuck Jr. Not only is he a writer, he's also a tattoo artist. Very cool guy. In between selling books, I struck up a conversation with him. I found out where he lived and so I asked him what he thought of Utah.
"It's beautiful here," he said. That's a common response I get when asking people about our state, especially those who are visiting for the first time. Perhaps it was the writer in him, but what he said next has stuck with me.
"It's like there's a mountain at the end of every street."
I asked him for clarification because it was the first time I had ever heard anyone put it that way.
"Yeah, when I was downtown walking around, I'd look up and down the streets and every time, there was a mountain at the end--no matter where I looked, I always saw a mountain."
I knew what he meant, of course. I had just never looked at it that way. But when I was driving home a few weeks ago, I looked at the straight road ahead of me and it reminded me of James's perspective. At the end of my road, there was a mountain.