Zerky in Erzurum

Map of Anatolia

October 31, 1967
Erzurum, Turkey

Dear Zerky, it is still raining on and off and getting colder by the mile. A thousand feet above us, there is snow on the hills that is making us nervous about the passes we need to climb over near Mount Ararat, near the Iranian border. Today we pushed on after nightfall, something we try not to do because you can never be sure what you might run into at night on lonely roads such as this one. Moreover, driving after dark makes it hard to find a decent camping spot because you never know where you really are until the next morning when you wake up. Tonight we are camped in a turnout at the end of a switchback in the road. Right before it turned, we caught sight of this nice little flat spot lit up in our headlights. Tarzan doesn’t want to go outside and run around—it’s too cold and windy out there. So here we are, the four of us, snug in our little tin house on wheels with its little propane heater singing its little heart out and with raindrops drumming on our roof. Your mother is now cooking dehydrated soup for supper and the windows are all fogged-up. Tomorrow we shall be in Iran.

—Excerpted from Letters to Zerky


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