I am purchasing the Lonely Planet Guide to Nevada in the Seattle Airport. I am post Vegetarian Burrito and generally am pleased to be eating real Mexican food in the USA. My overall contentment is furthered by the very attractive man ringing through my book.

“Las Vegas, huh? I lived there once for a year." He flashes a row of perfect white teeth. We engage in a lengthy conversation about living in Nevada, life outside of the Las Vegas strip and why, according to him, I have The Most Amazing Job in The Whole Wide World. A common occurrence, when discussing your line of work with folks. The Abercrombie model turned book salesman offers me perils of advice for living in LV: where to go for The Best Farmers Market, Rebels games that are discounted, what pubs have a locals night, where you can go for cheap yoga and the salon that offers martinis with your pedicures. I do not ask how he knows about the pedicures.

Shortly thereafter I arrive in Salt Lake City and spend a whirlwind 48 hours which includes picking up my brand new baby (Andy, a Red 6 Carbon 1 Cannondale) biking to and from and to work, going to Sugar House's 24 Hour Fitness, loading up a van, trailer and 26 bikes, cooking a family dinner at the SLC Leader House (to thank the bike mechanics for their help with Andy and feed the other leader souls living in the house) and driving 8 hours from Utah through Arizona to Nevada, landing in Boulder City via Las Vegas for a spring for tours in Death Valley.

As the weather has warmed and each day that floats along I drift a little further along the river of contentment. Settled, for now, I am encouraged by the four days of presearch ahead: driving bike routes, meeting with sub contractors, eating at Whole Foods, riding Andy around Death Valley, checking out two new hikes, seeing the crew at Furnace Creek Inn. I am only moderately discouraged by the unfortunate rocks in my river of contentment: my non working Mac Book, my inability to track down a free/cheap place to use internet in the interim, my slightly split open right knuckle from my unload day (Damn Backroads, says my leader friend Matt in Alaska: It Ruins Your Clothes and Breaks your Body, a sentiment I remember ever time I am bleeding and it is work related). But along the river I go.

Ordering Starbucks this morning in Boulder City, it is my coffee friend Gina behind the counter. As she prepares my Americano she is laughing. The Bike Mechanic boys are laughing too. They can tell I have been home. How, I ask. Your accent, the replies with a huge smile. Baaaaaag. Hooooome. Yewt Ahhh.