I felt like a balloon deflating the other day, a few hours after we arrived, all the build up anticipation, the miles to get here. Very unlike me, it has been a detour I felt like these past two months from the Journey in motion, even though good times, all seemingly has been motioned in a gear not quite as comfortable as today’s. At the same time, as when arriving at the Grand Canyon, in Big Bend for the first time, Zion, Valley of Fire… and so many other grandiose places, I felt overwhelmed by the beauty and magic of this surrounding. It was a thought as "what happened here?… there has been some major construction over those millions of years!" I can never "not" go beyond what the eyes are seeing. The giant red cliffs, seemingly red almost from the struggle they are portraying, rocks balancing with no means of support, how was it before my time? before our time… inch by inch, the flowing waters, the winds filled with sand as giant sandblasters, heat and ice, all chiseled from what was an Ocean floor to today’s massive canyons and rock formations.
There was some serious excitement as the bike’s engine was warming up after checking the tires, the oil, GPS… Spirit secured, plenty of fuel… but where do we go? We had just arrived, I wanted to go everywhere, all at once, see it all… Had to calm down, think for a change, we will plan the days somehow, maybe. For now we will get to the nearest Park, Arches National and a bit of the beautiful and scenic road along the Colorado River.
And even as we entered the Park I realized its size, and as it seems that we are moving slower by the day, this might take us weeks!!!… at least a few days… a few sunrises and a few sunsets. Something has changed since we have left. I cannot do the 60 second tours anymore, every step is a sight, a gift to the senses dormant unless awaken by such beauty and vast spaces. I calm myself down, we are going to be here a while, at least I think so, we will not leave any stones unturned… as they say!
We will go back to those Arches, those rocks and cliffs, the many other areas still waiting for us. The Bureau of Land Management here by itself manages 1.8 million acres in this middle of the heart of the Colorado Plateau! The ride was my gesture to ourselves feeling the wind on our faces while riding as we had arrived here, where we could get lost on this land amongst the Canyons sheltering the shadows and the as far as you can see set aside from the erosions of times flat lands. The weather has been a gift in itself and yet the strangest one experienced. In the upper 70’s starting mid day, with only the need for a T-shirt while standing still, but the electric gear on full force while moving! It reached 80 this afternoon… just a few hours ago, it is now below freezing nearing the midnight hour. Correction! Unless this thermometer on my window is off… it is 20 degrees at 6am this morning. No ride yet to witness a sunrise.
Constantly the lights and shadows are playing their games throughout the changing hours and the sun’s own journey. We stopped at the end of the road, called the Devil’s Garden, and again, as in all National Parks, Spirit is not allowed on the trails. With a big bucket of water in front of him he sleeps in the sidecar, his little home away from his other little home!
Winter is rough on the road, we are not geared to as they say "boondock" with no ties. The cold makes it impossible as with such temps we need power to run our propane heater. Power means running a small generator, it is noise either way for even distant neighbors on lands offered with free camping. The modifications needed to be, as in fair weather"out there", right now are just not in the budget. A catalytic heater which does not use any electric power… extra batteries… even solar power. And so we have to stay in a park with hook ups and in this area they are associated with premium prices, but at least I have the peace of mind that we will have heat! As I did in Terlingua, I will be working here 2 to 3 nights a week. It is the only way to compensate our expenditures in these cold months. Many Restaurants here needing help, will actually be talking with some of the owners today.
At the same time we have worked hard to produce items to support our Journey at this stage. Yes, this is what it has come to. And I say "we" because it is never of my only doing. Many friends have donated their times to the modification of the web site, the ideas behind it, its designs and all the way down to the printing itself of such items. As many have supported us, I always thought how nice it would be to give something in return and now it has become a reality. I received an e mail the other day from a friend, which we have not met yet but feels as we have, a friend wearing the same shoes as I am. Living daily with the tragic loss of his beautiful child, his daughter. His Life’s and his inner self description is only too familiar, as myself I live with it daily. And I quote "I am just as one who has lost his taste buds and can not savor the delightful flavors that were once normal daily experiences. In sailors terms, I have hit the doldrums, no wind in my sails, but every now and then a good current comes along and moves me into a fresh breeze."
As many always ask me why this Journey, why now, obviously at times unprepared, my reply after reading Paul’s words made me realize that "this is" my "fresh breeze". This Blog, this Journey, these sights and sounds are my winds in my sails, my currents through my days to sustain my allowance through time. I wish so much that I could divert some of my own motions to him, we all need to find that support for this Life of ours that will never be the same. So whatever the outcome is… the big words in the sky always read "it is all good" even when it is "all so hard".
Yes, Mother Nature supports us, she gives me that strength to go on, I try to share it all with you… this is all about the path we are on! Some of you have seen all these sights, for the ones that have not, I can only hope that some day you will take the time to feel them as I do, to see them as present as they are face to face and not only through this Blog…
Till next time… you be well, always.
Ara & Spirit