(Er... no pun intended. Really.)
When I arrived, it was foggy and all gray, and I could not see the mountains at all, and although people kept telling me they are there, there were so many other things I could actually look at... especially from the top of Hotel Utah, which was downright amazing, and the Salt Lake Temple (very impressive), and than we were in the car on our way to the Orem Public Library, and then I got hit by the next culture shock: the library was just incredible. I wish we had one like that at home. I mean, come on, they have a whole storytelling room!
I was greeted by Janet Low, and when she noticed that I just couldn't keep my eyes off the walls, she smiled and started to tell me the story of James Christensen's storytelling pictures.
I knew it. I so knew it.
I found Once Upon a Time on the web some time ago, and ever since then I have been looking for it; and there it was, it belongs to Timp (or as you might know it, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival - Timp just sounds so nice and cuddly). And it has a pair, painted for the tenth anniversary, The Flight of the Fablemaker (and now I'll only remember both of them as Tales beyond Timp, and I don't mind at all). I can't wait till the twentieth anniversary, and it's coming up next year... And then there were those beautiful stained glass windows - at that point I wished so badly I had been a kid in Orem. They are all crowded with fairy tale and mythology characters. I walked along them, pointing out the stories I know, and finding new details with every step - it was so much fun!
And then Wendy arrived to pick me up; when we walked out of the building, the sun had already set, and the sky was clear, deep blue, the exact same shade as the dress of the princess on the window, and I finally met the mountains, face to face, drew with thin silver lines against the evening, and they were just wonderful... at that moment I could believe all the elves and faeries in Christensen's pictures.
(And here comes the getting fed part again) By the time the moon rose we were already sitting in a friendly restaurant with all the storytellers and the conference staff, talking and laughing; first we only saw a cloud with silver lining, then the thin crescent of the full moon behind a mountain we could not see; the talking and laughing paused for a minute as we all watched the beautiful scene. For me, it marked the beginning of a weekend of wonders.