Well, posting about a convention almost exactly a week after it ends isn’t exactly what one would consider a decent con report. Nonetheless, it’s the way life has been rolling, so there. Life has been busy. Did I think things would slow down once I no longer had a steady Day Jobbe and we got moved? Boy, was I mistaken. Granted, most of this is self-imposed, but if anything, our lives are busier and more involved than they were before. So. Busy. Life.

Well, and maybe a touch of con crud when we got back to Enterprise….

Anyway, this year the trip to Miscon did not feature a suicidal deer or a newborn fawn. It did, however, feature some rather epic eagle sightings. We drove from Enterprise to Lewiston and on to Missoula through the Lolo Pass, which meant we followed first the Clearwater River and then the Lochsa River up over the pass. During one curve along the Clearwater, while we were still on the Nez Perce Reservation, a bald eagle curved over the road and back over the river…about 40 feet from my windshield. Sweet.

Further up the pass, I started to notice horse poop on the road, in places where I a.) didn’t see horse pasture nearby and b.) would not consider to be rideable road horse placement on the road. As we ascended the pass, I could see the poop getting fresher and fresher. I started to suspect that we might come around a corner and encounter a horse-drawn wagon. Considering how tight those corners are and how narrow the turns (with big truck loads running over the road, geez, takes me back to the day of big log loads on the Mohawk), I wasn’t too thrilled about encountering a wagon. Fortunately, they were still in camp (we drove by them).

The drive over Lolo is pretty darn gorgeous. There’s lots of trail access from the highway and the rivers were running high enough to support good-sized raft parties. There’s always the opportunity to see wildlife–and on the downhill side, we spotted a spike bull moose hanging out in a swamp.

Miscon this year was in a new hotel, with overflow space into a small park and a couple of downtown facilities. The Clark Fork River runs right behind the hotel, so we still had the meadow and river ambiance…only bigger. Instead of a small handful of food places available, there were some pretty good options within a decent walking distance. Plus a stunning 50s-era building that is both well-preserved and absolutely hilarious in its adherence to 50s-era design. Did I get pictures? Nope. I intended to, but….

The con itself went well. I sold a couple of books, handed some out, and met some cool new people. Somehow the alternative comics panel managed to span everything from the 60s to the present day in one hour, while touching on offshoots affected by alternative/underground comix such as comics/graphic novels in education and literacy, a brief nod to feminism in early underground comix, regional comix, political comix, and the influence of 60s-70s comix on the development of contemporary series such as the Simpsons, Girl Genius, and so on. It was fun but intense.

Our return was nowhere near as dramatic with regard to critter sightings. I did see quite a few swallowtail butterflies hanging out by the road as we drove down the Lochsa in particular, fluttering around certain puddles. The car collected a healthy dose of bugs, and we had a gorgeous view of the hillside above Asotin that was glowing purple from the fresh-bloomed vetch in the late afternoon sun.

So, as always, Miscon was a marvelous time, with marvelous people, and lots of opportunities to meet up with good friends. Already looking forward to next year.

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