Opinion » Note

The Daze of Vacation Days

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I'm with Bill Cope this week.

Yes, there is plenty to write about: redistricting in Idaho (see News, Page 8), the Rupert Murdoch/News of the World scandal (incidentally, some people still think Boise Weekly is owned by Murdoch's News Corp. after an April Fool's prank some years back), the latest debt ceiling spat between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, the colorful discussions among BW readers at boiseweekly.com this week, the dude who became the first to rack up 10 million miles with United Airlines ... this list could go on. Heck, it would even be entertaining to just reprint that viral USA Today weather graphic that not only depicted a personified sun jerking off a thermometer but doing so with a rather suggestive expression.

But it's not easy getting serious about news when mother nature keeps rolling out one gorgeous day after another.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to take a few days off, and I spent the time driving to and from a speck of a town in central New Mexico. The high desert gave way to the still-snow-covered peaks of Salt Lake City, which gave way to the Canyonlands, which gave way to the flatlands of the Land of Enchantment. I took in the deceptively finite space of this West in which we live and wished I'd revisited the words of Mary Austin's The Land of Little Rain before the journey. At Arches National Park, I stood within the cradle of a rock hollowed out by eons of wind and rain, trying to imagine Edward Abbey's lonely existence in that place and made a mental note to dust off Desert Solitaire when I returned home. And when you're surrounded, day after day, by the vast landscape of the empty West, it's surprisingly effortless--even for the most news-obsessed among us--to let the days stretch by without a newspaper or a broadcast in sight. It's so easy to just be outside.

But vacations must end, news must go on. In this edition of Boise Weekly, Cope tackles distraction, News Editor George Prentice examines the redistricting process from the perspective of Idaho's growing Latino vote, Guy Hand goes looking for fungi, and we uncover an immaculate croquet court in a rather unexpected place. My advice? Grab your paper/iPad/smartphone/laptop and read outside.

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