If it's April in the Pacific Northwest, it's Bike Week in Arizona. Unable to attend myself, I took the lowly positions of house-sitter, grounds tender and dog walker so my brother could. I was also entrusted with caring for the cats, but y'know, they're cats.

Being it was Chuckie's first Arizona Bike Week, he was making it a two week event. He was going to transport the bike in his new RV, which came with tie-downs for just such a trip. The day of departure he still wasn't sure what route he'd be taking to Arizona, but flying by the seat of his pants is Chuckie's specialty, and it proves interesting every time.

When he left I figured I'd next be hearing from him somewhere out of Utah. Instead, he rolled the dice and - if I may borrow a line from lyricist John Perry Barlow - Like an angel standing in a shaft of light, rising up to paradise . . . California won. He hit Yosemite enroute to Phoenix, a first for both he and his wife, and before their return they'd also see Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Capital Reef National Parks.

They tried to visit the Grand Canyon too, but were just a little early in the year yet. Meanwhile, I'm house-sitting. Not that my life isn't full - with a dog and cats and house and Tonka toys under my care - and there really isn't any place I'd rather be than the north woods of Washington . . . in April. Except maybe basking in the sun while visiting the great national parks of the Southwest. 'Scuse me. I think I hear a cat calling.