As we rode yesterday the 260 miles or so "Pinto Canyon loop" as I call it, all I could think was "so much land… so much land… why is everyone piled up on each other in this world?". Of course I know the answer… mainly the mighty "dollar" income needed to survive… I cannot help always thinking that there is a better way to live for us, but I know that the answer to that one is not to be found for all in my own lifetime.
Since attending all the local events these past weeks, not much riding by us had been done and we (?) were eager to get on the road early morning. My watch has been broken since we have arrived here, I yet have to take the steps to buy a new one or fix it, so we depend on the sun to give us a general idea where we stand throughout the day, specially when going for a ride. I do follow directives from other fellow riders… the consensus was to ride Pinto Canyon southbound, the reason? "downhill". At the same time, picture taking is always for me a daily project and fun pleasure. I knew that leaving Terlingua early morning, through Alpine and Marfa, would put us on the trail by the afternoon, the worse time to take pictures! I am pretty much a newbie at photography, I do get to use the camera just about everyday, through a lot of reading and a lot of questions it has been a learning curve. I do not have Photoshop and some thoughts came up yesterday as the bright sun was not… making the pictures look "nice"!
A real Sunset at the Park the night before…
My favorite times to shoot with the camera are early mornings and right before sunset, the window of opportunity is fairly short. Another factor is the sun, riding southbound yesterday the sun was right in front of us, I had to look backward for some good shots. But what happens if I want to show what was ahead of us… a white sky… much glare… and I thought, let it be… Some pictures might be pleasing to the eyes with a coincidence about depicting the ride, and some will just show… actually will need to show exactly what the vision is while riding, in other words, some pictures need to be the reality of the moment, pleasing or not… I sure hope all this makes sense!
Alpine was our first stop, yes, you guessed it, the Bakery. Some take out for a future snack and also to check out a new Gallery put together by 8 different Artists, Gallery which will be open late at night the 16th and 17th, dates for the Alpine Art Show coming up. Of course we will be there! Food, Art, Music… We arrived in Marfa at high noon, seems that my food route was planned perfectly as the Pizza Connection was open and we arrived only a few seconds before the big rush. This is the area’s best food in my book… on the same level with Kathy’s BBQ pink shack, of a different menu. And by the way, in case I had forgotten to mention it before, I am no longer working 3 nights a week at "LaKiva". Let’s say, personal reason on certain aspects of the kitchen… I skipped the Pizza yesterday, I try to avoid carbs at all cost when riding, but… the chicken salad sandwich did come with two slices of crispy baked Pizza dough, I could not resist! It was delicious.
So we are now both happy, Spirit rested in the shade (he already had breakfast back at camp!), his water is in front of him, we use now a big 5 gallon collapsible bucket for his water to be there at all time as I am always afraid he is not going to drink enough. With high walls the bucket keeps the water in even on rough road and being soft there is not danger to harm him either. I knew there would be eventually a reason why I had two of those when we left for this Journey! Going eastbound on 90, 2810 is the road to take southbound to get to Pinto Canyon.
32 miles of paved road was the first stretch. I will say it right now, from the time we left Marfa’s paved road and Pinto Canyon’s 22 miles of dirt road to Ruisada on River Road, to Presidio, another 37 miles, we only encountered one Border Patrol napping in the bushes and a Ranch truck with trailer coming the other way. That is it. Having a vehicle in good running condition, with 178,000 miles ours is barely breaking in, food, tools, blanket, much water, First Aid kit, all is of a must. A Sat phone of course would be a great addition if one can afford it.
Beautiful vast and calm scenery, and soon the sign came up for the pavement to end.
This is what it looked like from space at this point. Elevation is about 5100 feet and mostly we were going downhill from here. And we did. The road’s difficulty? A bit rough at first and steep, no sand but big rocks… No for a street bike, but also no great expertise needed, of course we are more stable than on two wheels.
The views?… well, spectacular! Nice carved roads, great temps throughout the ride, and again I have to say that Spirit does not cease to amaze me, besides that fact that he can write now! I don’t think many Dogs would keep a composure as he does! We bounce around a lot, we slide right and left, maneuvering the rig is a bit tricky when the road is not leveled, and through all this he is not just a passenger, but "part" of it… I feel his excitement, he sits up taller than usual, he is up forward more and constantly checking me out, the road, right, left, back to me… He does not have to talk… I feel his joy!!!
He quite often overwhelms me! He does not like water, but if he did I bet he would be one of those dogs that surfs! The road was laid out ahead of us, its vision like a ribbon dictating it’s path, I was content that it’s degree of difficulty was not worse, turning around sometimes is a not welcomed task on a road too narrow, without reverse, even with the come-along, strap and anchor that I carry.
The rest of the story next time. We actually need to do this again… and maybe again… Maybe later on the day to witness a sunset, which we did yesterday past Presisidio, riding back in the dark is not a problem, as you will see next time the road turns into a freeway sort of after a few miles!
Till next time, you all be well…
Ara & Spirit
And on a side note… Asking for contributions is always of difficult writing. The Google sense-ads are being pulled, I would not "click" on them myself even if I was asked… I should not have expected readers to do so. But it is as a friend of mine said, "an honest request"… as honest as a Bookstore selling an autobiography, a novel, a book… We thank all of you that have contributed to this ongoing expense of ours! For the ones that have not, continue enjoying the site, the pictures, and if you feel it worth the $1 a month, well, the PaylPal button is above and this is our snail mail address
Ara Gureghian 245 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245 Naples, Fl 34108