I'm back from Utah.
I left for the Altitude Design Summit and Salt Lake City really not knowing what to expect: all I knew was that Salt Lake City is near the mountains and that its population is largely Mormon; I was also highly amused that the Utah state bird is the "seagull," and there isn't a "sea" for 500 miles (turns out they like the crickets). And admittedly, I was a bit intimidated attending a conference filled with people who spent their time studying good design (really, what does one wear to a conference like this?).
What I found was a city that was exceedingly friendly; I thought Houston had cornered the market on friendly cities, but seriously, Salt Lake City rivals. The people at the conference weren't just folks who liked pretty clothes or interesting art; these were people who were committed to good design making an impact on emerging markets, saving the environment and improving the way we communicate -- and that's before I even get to the things I learned that strongly relate to my approach to photography, and may affect the way I use this site as a result. These were people determined to share what they knew and draw inspiration from each other. It was all such a pleasant revelation.
But I still never got over the shock of stepping outside and seeing huge, snow-capped mountains. Those things are crazy, man.
Song: Get down on it by Kool & the Gang. I was reading an article about disco in this month's Vanity Fair on the flight back, and James "J.T" Taylor of Kool & the Gang was quoted. I've had this song running through my head since.