The cold wave is passed, some clouds lingering makes it for interesting pictures which is what we did last evening, Spirit and I walking up the Bluffs, reason for this town to be called Bluff. Interesting enough, Bluff was the start in 1917 of a motor trip accomplished by Dr. W. H. Hopkins "world traveler" and Dolph Andrus (what a great name… ) which end up in St George, Utah. I stumbled a while back on this great Forum called "American Roads" and as I originally saw it as… well, you know, it is just a bunch or roads… a new sense and appreciation of past travelers when those roads actually barely existed, and thought, with Dave’s help, the originator of the thread about "The Monumental Highway", how much fun it would be to actually retrace it. The pictures are there as you scroll down the thread and my thoughts are to someday, have the old and the new together, side by side. We have been to most of the places but trying to match the pictures will be the object, of course comparing road quality also!
We are leaving for Page tomorrow, we will be going through Kayenta but will head north where the map shows "Red Lake" up to Lee’s Ferry where Page is, to visit the "Antelope Slot Canyon" on Monday. The fun part some day will be to take more time and find the dirt roads traced on the map. We have already done "The Valley of the Gods" shown above, does not look like they took Mokey Dugway up, but headed toward "Monument Valley" afterwards, probably some roads that are closed today, but will be worth the try.
So this is Bluff from a bit above as we walked up the road. Very few people stop in Bluff, one gas station slash little grocery store, a couple Restaurants, RV Parks and Motels. Quiet town of 360 or so, I had written some about it in this Blog earlier… Sometimes I do not realize how long we have been in Utah circling around and around! Eventually I also want to visit Boulder (Utah) as I understand there is a great Restaurant there that grows all their own produce. There is a "Hole in the Rock" with four great canyons to visit, Bryce Canyon… so much more.
We have not done much lately these past couple of days, trying to figure out tell you the truth I don’t know what! The passion, the need, the pleasure to be on the road just does not diminish and same with the riding. We went to Blanding this morning to have three welds redone. One arm that supports the car was showing a fine hairline crack, Spirit’s water jug holder was broken (we cannot have that happen!…) and my sidecar fender also was for some reason torn for about 10 inches inside the wheel well. Don’t ask…
It’s alright… Spirit is not looking! A real good welder, a good old timer, he did a great job and I have a warranty on all three welds till they break again… that is what he told me with a handshake even thought Spirit had him under his watchful eyes.
We even stopped at a car wash… first time… I had to wash the inside of the sidecar! Almost two years of hair and mud and sand! I have drilled some holes at the bottom for that purpose, Spirit has now a real clean ride with even a real clean mat! Won’t last long.
I keep making this analogy that Bluff and Terlingua have similarities. They really don’t is my conclusion after spending a couple days a week here. It is a different atmosphere, maybe a bit "tighter", maybe because not as many people stop by? It just does not have the openness… I just cannot put my finger on it and truly I don’t need to! I like its central location to regroup from excursions within a couple hundred miles around, every town has their own character after all, just like people.
I think the locals are more closed in, in a tight circle from outsiders, such as us, and that is alright also as we are not here to activate a social life if the doors are shut. More and more we feel our best when "out there" within the vast lands which I now consider Home to us, no matter which direction we go, no matter where we set up our tent, suddenly the "welcome mat" always presents itself. Mother Nature unlike people has always welcomed us sincerely, not as a task that she forces herself into with no distinction of who we are.
Ironically there was a Cemetery at the end of the road. Maybe not the best place for me to be right now, but it did lay there in it’s beautiful setting away from the passing by traffic, protected by the bluffs, as outside of town in its own peaceful and serene environment. June is a hard month for me, the thought of Father’s Day spend again alone has been since May in my mind daily, and as yesterday Lance’s Mother and I had a long conversation, even though it has been a few years now since he left us, it just seems that our World crumbled only yesterday, the vivid memories are just as fresh a the past hour. No matter what we do, no matter what we think, there is really nothing filling up this void present day after day. There just is not! The acceptance does not come easy, the missing is always a tight knot within, there is no reaching, there has not been a path of return… the plain cold reality is always a slap with not a single response toward any rays of hope that this might be just a bad dream. Such as the cards dealt… such is Life…
We better get on, it is morning now, and finalize our packing here to reach Page by early afternoon maybe. We are always packed except for food which will get on the way, and going down the roads, the wind on our faces seems to be the only prescription to keep the mind occupied from otherwise thoughts drowning me at times. The Journey, that is what keeps me alive, Spirit is who keeps me company, we make a great team as there is no doubt about it.
Till next time… enjoy and all be well…
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