September 1, 2008 | Sun Valley, Idaho
This past weekend Jenni and I drove to Sun Valley, Idaho for her annual Labor Day art show at the Kneeland Gallery; she is a fine artist (in both senses of the word) creating whimsical images of Western life, wildlife and the places we love. The drive, passing over the divide and onto the northern Snake River plain, is one of my favorites. The pines give way to a belt of aspens that give way to the verdant fields of alfalfa and potatoes. Eventually the land is too arid to support farming and the sage and black rock of Craters of the Moon National Monument win out.
The Labor Day parade in Sun Valley celebrated its 50th anniversary. The parade tips its hat to our equine past – lots of horses, mules and ponies. When we lived on the land these animals were part and parcel of our existence – we were tied to the land. I try to put myself in their shoes – what was it like to live in Montana before the advent of cars, refrigerated food, mobile phones and DSL. Must of have been some kind of adventure.
Jenni also read from her book at Iconoclast, an independent bookseller in Sun Valley. Her book, Forget Me Not, is a memoir of her life with my late best friend Alex Lowe, and the life that Jenni and I as a married couple have created. It never fails to elicit an emotional response from readers. The common thread in her book is the connection we have to wild places and how it shapes us as individuals. My connection to Jenni is based in the wilderness and it is in the wilderness that we find solace and happiness.
(More information on Jennifer Lowe-Anker can be found on her website.)