Spirit is only absent from the picture because he was busy taking it as I forgot my tripod. Do you like that "thinker" pause? The "bandanna" is appropriate and soaked with water… gives it that Adventure look… right?
And then we have the… I don’t know… you tell me… look! Don’t get the wrong idea now, this is "only" so I can take more pictures with only removing my gloves and slipping the goggles down… in warm weather, all DOT approved (does that really mean anything?…). I am a full face "helmet" fanatic! I asked someone that had the same camera as mine to take it… he had just bought it and I had to set it on "Auto". I guess I should have relaxed instead of that "piercing" look… I will know what to wear for Halloween! That is for sure… I am laughing also, so don’t hold back… I will approve all comments… maybe! Little thumbnail is courtesy of my Friend Brian, which also can be spelled "Brain", what are Friends for?
The map below is the route we took, including the Natural Bridges National Monument loop. I wanted to beat the bad weather which I was seeing coming, not too rapidly but at a steady pace. We slept comfortably but not too well because of bursts of wind shaking the shade cover which I should have taken down, making Spirit nervous. At some point as I opened my eyes I thought a car was coming at us… strange as it had only one headlight. It was the moon so bright low in the sky, I was too tired to even try some long exposure pictures. Next time.
The road by the way from the Natural Bridges to Blanding is beautiful. By the time we rode it the wind was fierce, sideways as even throughout the Park I had to rest the camera on a rock for it to stop shaking! It was blowing from the south and sure enough as we made the right hand turn toward Bluff, right on the nose as a giant brake… downhill in 3rd gear pushing it almost full throttle! Oh!… what a feeling. Sometimes I feel fortunate that we are at 1200lbs and would be a bit hard to blow us away even though unintentional lane changing happens commonly.
This is us packing. I am packing being supervised by Mr Spirit, did not take long, using the wind to fold it all as sails blowing and took a quick ride back to Mexican Hat to top off the tank as with all this gear I can only carry and extra half a gallon of fuel. I knew there was no fuel between us and Blanding, not a long distance but knowing my detours I always prefer to play it safe.
Right across from the fuel station two travelers. Of course I have to go and chat with them! Martin and Katia from Switzerland. They originally left in… 2000! Each riding their own respective 650cc, him a Honda Twin Africa and her a Suzuki Dr. They have been back into their country a couple times, this go around they have been out since 2006, about the same time we left and on their way to Alaska. They will never see this! They travel the old fashioned way. No Internet contact, no phone, not even a GPS! Brought back some memories of my own traveling. It was as I mentioned really windy, not a very good picture besides his hair blowing away. They were not aware of "The Valley of the Gods" free camping and had spend the night downtown Mexican Hat. I gave them all my local maps as they were going to stop in Moab and we traced some good dirt roads for them including Potash Rd. Shaffer Trail and back through Long Canyon. I know they are having a great time and will meet up with many other riders up in Alaska which has become a crowded destination now.
Back up Mockey Dugway which is always a pleasure to ride, into the Park. Total change of scenery. I think the lack of the color "red" threw me off! Into the Park it is a 9 miles loop road with several overlooks of the three bridges, which I will try to keep their names straight. The Park itself covers a very small area of southeast Utah, remote from others and not too many visitors. The hikes were tempting but as all National Parks, Spirit is not allowed on them. So we stayed and checked out the overlooks.
The first one is "Sipapu"…
And this is "Kachina". As the bad weather was approaching!
And the most beautiful one "Owachomo". It is the most spectacular one and the oldest, they say ready to go soon as its thickness is only 9 feet.
These two, above and below are actually my favorites! Mini bridges! Right of the walkway, 4 feet high by maybe 10 feet wide. I stood there for a while wondering how those little holes formed. I see many "pro photographers" in this area, I can tell by what they are wearing and the amount of equipment I droll on… I stood by those rocks for quite a bit, letting them walk by, a bit in a hurry maybe, and none took the time to take a shot at those little formations. So it is all subjective… my taste, my findings. I was not going to say anything as I am trying to curve my chatting specially when Spirit is a couple hundred feet away waiting in the sidecar. It just seemed odd them bypassing this opportunity…
"The Taoist sages of Ancient China drew attention to Nature because they saw a power at work in it that Humans have lost touch with. It is the Creative power of the Universe. While Nature is a beautiful expression of the evolutionary impulse of the Universe, when Humans become aligned with the intelligence that underlies it, they will express the same impulse on a higher and more wondrous level" [Eckhart Tolle]
… and I cannot forget to post another one of my favorite Sunsets from the previous evening! Photos are such a great reflection of the space one can be in, but truly the spirit also needs to be there as there is so much more than those images. I find it out by listening to my tapes while camping and trying to sort them out… how far one can be transported into their own thoughts never cease to amaze me. Such a simple silhouette!
You be well and stay well… Ara & Spirit
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Ara Gureghian 853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245 Naples, Fl 34108