I've blogged before about how important it is for me to actually see the places I'm writing about. Fortunately, my husband is a willing chauffeur. Last weekend, we hit the road and ventured into North Dakota.
The trip changed quite a few details of my story!
In some ways, it helped me determine plot points. In other ways, I had to completely re-think and re-write sections of the story.
I also have a deeper appreciation for the area. Scot and I have decided that a return trip in a post-COVID, warmer weather season, is definitely in order.
And then I hit the road again. This time for a self-imposed writer's retreat in Estes Park where I tend to write the most and the best. With my dogs and the elk to encourage me, I've done a lot of research on soil, rock formations, and...lichen. Yep, that beautiful little life formed by fungus and algae.
As I write this, the Cameron Peak Fire, largest in Colorado history, continues to expand. Roads are closed, people are evacuated, smoke fills the air to the north and east. Future road trips to this area of Colorado will be significantly different than they would have been just a couple of months ago.
I'm fortunate to have taken many road trips in northern Colorado. I'll hold onto those memories as I pray for the people, animals, and land that have been devastated by this fire.