So there I was, reading David Baldacci's latest, “Long Road to Mercy,” featuring a new character, FBI agent Atlee Pine: female bodybuilder, self-professed introvert, and lover of the wide open spaces of Arizona. Before I even blinked, she had hiked down into the Grand Canyon to investigate the murder of a mule, coincidental with the disappearance of a government scientist. Never been to the Grand Canyon and, given a fear of heights and steep drop-offs, will probably not make it down Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch.
However, my visual brain went into overdrive. Maps first, since I am of that generation, but that wasn't good enough this time. I needed pictures and video and found them online. Lost-I was lost for an afternoon in the visual wonder of the Grand Canyon. How exciting and satisfying it is to read a story and watch where the action occurs. I hiked and sweated with Atlee as she delved ever deeper into the side canyons, then huffed and puffed with her as she raced back up out of the Canyon at night. It was much the same with James Ramsey Ullman's “Banner in the Sky.” Go online and “participate” in a hair-raising climb up Switzerland's famed Matterhorn.
On a rather more down to earth but just as beautiful note, join the walkers on Monday and Wednesday at 9:30 AM at the Bachelder Library for a brisk trek in the East Andover Hills, then tea back at the library. Stop by for the Valentine's Day cocoa and book sale (sale ongoing during the week) there, and don't forget about the entrance hall at the Andover Library for everyday used book sales. Finally, if you're a Harry Potter fan, hit the Bachelder during school vacation week on Tues., Thurs., and Friday for the first three Harry Potter movies. Hogwarts forever!