Seeing is believing… Mt St Helen, WA

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Again, for those reading who attended the BMW MO Rally in Wisconsin and waited for my seminar, I apologize for my absence. BMW MOA was notified ahead of time, but as I found out today, they were too busy to post a cancellation. I feel so terribly bad about it every time I think about it… and at the same time… it was just an impossibility to make the 3000 mile round trip… Hope to make up for it next year in Gillette, Wyoming.

I also feel that lately I have not been writing much about Spirit! And there is so much to write about him… We are so much becoming one. So as we go I will give you more news about him… He surprises me all the time by his intelligence. It is at the point now to only ask something once on a very low tone… no, I am not the dog whisperer, but I thought I would try… his attention is so much there that he understands right away, and trust me, that it is fun to do so! That is of course when it is something he “wants” to do…

He can also be stubborn and just ignore me, looking away as if… well, I will just ignore you as I don’t want to do this! He has finally gained his weight back. It seems that most Pit owners like their dog to show a bit of ribs, I don’t. When he got sick in Utah he lost a lot of weight, from 60lbs to 52… He must be around 62lbs now and looks real healthy… content… happy! If only the scars given by Andy’s and Kim’s puppy with sharp teeth would go away… I myself would be happy! Poor Spirit is so short haired that by the time I realized what was going on… well… it was too late. It breaks my heart every time I see those bites, specially where his hair will not grow back… there is always a price to pay… for everything!

So we went on to Mt St Helen saturday, the ride as beautiful as all the rides in this State. The greens are of a different greens as you might notice, vibrant, almost seeming freshly painted and clean. As the miles went on riding NF 99 and we reached ground zero, at the same time having the first glance at Mt St Helen, the same feel I had a few years back, 2000 if I remember, descended upon me. This was were the lava had finally stopped, coming to a halt from its 600 mph speeds up and down the hills with a total devastation of ground and sky.

Having lived many years on sailboats I always had great respect toward Mother Nature and its force… days of calm water suddenly churned by invisible forces making one use all their skills to stay afloat and sometimes survive a storm not welcomed per say, but, a must to deal with. The inhabitants of this immediate area in contrast did not have a chance of survival… there was no hiding, no running away from the storm, just an incredibly fast moving blanket with its incredible speed and heat… I can just imagine the rumbling itself when looking at the quiet images of the destruction.

The trees however are growing, some standing tall already above 10 to 15 feet, the ground cover changing its colors from a grey and brown ash to its green growth, a welcome sign of nature taking back what it had lost a while back. But the thoughts, the weight of the memories will always linger, one cannot forget and respect this natural disaster, a disaster so hard to imagine unless being there seeing its aftermath and reading about it.

The crater is still smoking… if one does not know its reason, they might worry about another eruption. But, the steam coming out and making its way up into the clear blue skies is a must… it tells us that the volcano is breathing and not building up pressure. What does the future holds?… no one knows… I am told that it will erupt again some day… just as so many disasters are bound to happen someday on this delicate Earth that we live on… All suddenly might very well be scattered as the remains of the logs on Lake Spirit.

Many riders parked at the lookout called Windy Ridge Point, the end of the road, there is another lookout where one can climb over 300 steps for a better view… not us… The mountain seems surreal with its own off brown, off grey and patches of snow colors, there is definitely a certain mood up there… I hope you get to experience it some day, or already have, it makes me appreciate the rest of the land we live on, a bit safer… as far as we know, for the time being.

By 3pm we started heading back to camp… the Guzzi camp, to witness how the salmon was being put together and cooked. Very smart I find it, besides that fact of having over 50lbs of it for about 60 riders! This is the Native American fashion way of cooking… Of course they did not have access to lathe and nice wood sticks as here, but I get the idea and actually I would be more interested to do this with only what would be available in the wilderness… My next project.

How was the taste?… delicious… nice and moist as the fish where of a nice size, slowly cooked by only the radiant heat of the fire, about one hour and a half… seasoned only with salt and pepper… personally I might have brushed it with a concoction of melted butter, lemon juice and dill… but… that is just a thought of the moment! Let the fish be fish. It was a great dinner, salad, spaghetti, home made cake… great company… I had to walk a round a bit, full stomach… hope to be there next year again!

In the meantime I had devised my own little dish that had been on my mind since I left Georgia… The Blue Bicycle in Dawsonville serves this… the only difference is the potatoes are fried into potato chips… well, I do not have a fryer… you will not have a fryer either probably when camping… so I pan fried them with butter. You can also use sweet potatoes, yams or as I did purple potatoes also mixed with the white ones. The next step, in the same pan is to make a quick hollandaise sauce… That is tricky I admit, only because you might cook the egg yolks too much and end up with an omelet instead… practice at home. 3 to 4 egg yolks in the pan, always better to have less heat than more… slow, very slow, take the pan off the burner but keep whisking, add, hummmm, a quarter pound of butter, one piece at the time… keep whisking… When done as it will thicken, pour over the potatoes, add crumbled blue cheese and dig in… odd?… yes… but you will love it… unless blue cheese is not your cup of tea… The parsley?… just an option!

Parked in Enumclaw… again… the rig will have its final eyebolt adjustments… and on to the Olympic Peninsula for a while before heading South to Oregon, curious about the Oregon Deserts… and much BLM land…

This site is made possible by the generous support of readers like you.

No PayPal?… Here is our Snail Mail…

Ara Gureghian

853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245

Naples Fl #4108

Enjoy… and be well…

Till next time… Ara & Spirit

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