So much seems to have happened these past days and at the same time it has been just Life as usual, I think I need to search the definition of "usual", mine might differ. If nothing else this picture below was all worth it… any outing is always worth it, as this was our view while camping. I had already taken a couple sunset pictures, from a bright light to amber coals the skies slowly changed, I put the camera away, ready to jump back into my book… when I glanced to my left and there was more!
We are back due to some nasty weather that started with some real strong winds this morning, I just love looking up, observing it all and reading the weather… sure enough as we pulled into Bluff after stopping by "The Bridges", the deluge started. All was fine when we left a couple days ago going west and still not knowing if it would be "Monument Valley" or "The Valley of the Gods". Same road… I felt more like being alone with Spirit, had a lot of thinking to do, and was curious if this one particular camp spot was unoccupied. The sign for "The Valley of the Gods" was up first and won the decision! We had been without Internet connection a day prior, which seemed like eternity… I was ready for some bonding with Mother Nature!
Yes… this is the "spot"… this is the "one"… it was free, by all means, actually as I did a complete loop there was no one around for miles which always amazes me. It did not take me that long to set up, wish Spirit would be of more help besides sniffing the ancient paths of probably some other four legged creatures. I already knew besides the camera tripod what I had forgot! There is a list now… no big thing as I keep it simple… right!
The tent is a Sierra Design, 2 doors, and the Mountain Hardware cover, well, I cannot remember the name of it (shape of a fish!), has been unfortunately discontinued. It is great for shade, even though it gets hot underneath and I am sure it hit a hundred yesterday. I had a spare pole for its right side, but… right after this picture a strong gust took it all away and decided to do away with the short pole… also broke one segment of the long pole! So yes, we pack light! I love having the sidecar as I leave many items in it, much less unpacking and repacking. The black Ortlieb bag is like our closet when camping and sits right outside the tent.
The bags forward of the rear panniers are on both sides. They each contain 2 MSR bottles, 2 are extra fuel as also on the side of the tank pannier, and 2 are fuel for our MSR stove! The screamer stove… The rear little OR bags, as all my little bags are Outdoor Research ones, contains alcohol for my 7 minute burning time spare stove and the other one "engine oil", just in case… Old Faithful just turned 185K today… yet has to burn oil between changes! Since I use AMSOIL, it is every 5K. The silver container is water, 11 liters, and one rear pannier has 3G of water besides another 3 liters in the rear top case. Just in case you are wondering, I am writing all this as I have had readers ask about our tent/camping set up.
Two soft coolers which will hold ice for a couple days (sometimes) and my backpack, all goes in the nose of the sidecar, Spirit willing! Bottom right is "The Chair", the famous Kermit chair! Bought many moons ago for $75… now $125. That chair always reminds me of my Friend Ralph from Kentucky! Ah!… the long arguments we have had versus his $5 Walmart chair which he has fixed over and over just to make a point I believe… I bet he is still using it! I can sit for hours in that chair and read… same as my Big Agnes sleeping pad/bag system which is even more comfortable then any bed I have ever owned.
There… is a well taken care Dog! Don’t you think? I have to always put his water right in front of him. He was abused with water in his youth and still 3 years later in my company he will rarely drink when I am present, as I always fear dehydration for him. Actually for the both of us. 5G of water for 3 hot days, including cooking just does not seem enough. Yes, I keep my reading light! There is enough going through this mind of mine right now to accentuate any deep thoughts unless of course I could find the answers. I took a little recorder with me, since no lap top, and I will write about it next time. I will not hide the fact that I am getting cold feet about this decision to work 3 days a week here! I did finely in Terlingua, I keep wondering why so different here as there are even more destinations in this area than Big Bend! There is no contract, there is no time set and yet… I am so afraid to be tied down, which I am not! Have yet to figure that one out. It is all good on all levels… just another phase I guess.
There are no grocery stores in Bluff, besides some basic necessities at the gas station and I was not prepared! I should not even post the above picture cooking dinner!… which Spirit ate more than half of it. Lets say it was cooking "sausages", then adding some water for some noodles and a can of vegetables. So it was really not too bad… I even had cookies and milk afterwards… my weakness right now, please do not remind me about "diet"! Morning of course… espresso! I’ll do espresso when camping, takes up less space and uses up less water… I also love espressos! There was no lack of freshly roasted and ground coffee at the camp.
These two pictures are basically the same… only taken a few hours apart. No need for words…
There will be part II! Till next time… have a great day, come and visit! Utah is beautiful…
You be well and stay well… Ara & Spirit
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Ara Gureghian 853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245 Naples, Fl 34108