It seems like an eternity since I first went to Cross Plains. It leads on from the story of how I got into Conan. To recap: in the early 2000s, I picked up a copy of Fantasy Masterwork's The Conan Chronicles Volume One: The People of the Black Circle. I recognised the name from the plethora of Conan media, but to see it included in the Fantasy Masterworks subline (number 8 out of what would be 50) piqued my interest. Given that the first story I read (after the "Hyborian Age Essay" which I naturally ate up) was the magnificent "The Tower of the Elephant," of course I was hooked. Shortly after, I started posting on the late lamented Conan.com forums. I started to get acquainted with folk who knew a great deal about not just Conan, but his creator and his work. Over time, I mustered up the gumption to start this blog, & within time, I was nominated for a Robert E. Howard Foundation Award... which led me to Cross Plains, a shy, over-excited Strange Scot in a Strange Land eager to finally meet people who I'd been conversing with, and a pilgrimage to the homeland of an author whose work meant so much. Without exception, each of the regulars - and fellow newcomers - was generous, accommodating, and welcoming, and I'll never forget that.