Suddenly we have visitors lined up! Louis from Canada, who I have known for a long time, had been sending me e mails regarding his route with a couple of riding friends approaching Escalante. We had been resting from our last excursion to Moab, getting over near heat stroke experiences when the messages came in. Again planning is never a fact one can count on when travelers decide to meet. A wrong turn took them to a different part of the State delaying their arrival by a couple of days. No harm done as we were here anyhow. How nice to see a familiar face and a couple new friendly ones, a trio of actually "comedic proportions"! Listening to their exploits, their nagging at each other made me realize how much of a compromise it is to travel in company. But they were having a great time and invited me for dinner while here the one night. It was much catching up on those years that have gone by.
Tonight Brian Rushing, from Louisiana, is stopping by for a couple of nights. The first rider Friend that actually will be visiting us twice! He came by the first time while camping in Terlingua, Texas and taught me a lot about photography, lets see what I can learn this time. Brian is the one that send us a set of tires as a contribution toward our Journey… what a surprise that was! We will probably ride Burr Trail tomorrow trying to also find a slot Canyon which we have not see yet. In the meantime not wanting to get back on the road and missing his visit, we took a ride to Bryce Canyon, about 50 miles from here.
Next week, most likely on Monday, another Friend from Denver, Tomas and his girl friend Marianne will also come by for a couple of nights. Tis the season to ride… Bryce Canyon has amazing and very unique sights. From the entrance of the Park to its end, an 18 mile road, thousands of "Hoodoos" line up on left side in their hues so different than any other, an almost orangey color captured best with the camera when the sun is setting or rising. That was not quite the case yesterday as we are in monsoon season with a rainy and dark cloudy pattern every afternoon.
I did obviously managed to take some shots in between breaks of the clouds, but we did end up leaving before sunset as the skies dark and menacing were showing some heavy rains ahead of us. The original translation of Hoodo, pronounced "hu-du" comes from West African Etymology meaning a body of practices of sympathetic magic, now describing natural columns of rocks in Western North America often in fantastic form as they are here. Another definition also is "something that brings bad luck"… Hope not!
The sights are present today, it took millions of years to be formed, and although Bryce Canyon only gets an average of 18 inches of rain per year it is amazing what that little amount of water has created. The forecast is that all this will be gone in another 3 millions of years! Sub-freezing nighttime temperatures and warm days results of 200 freeze-thaw cycles annually. During the afternoon the snow and ice will melt and the water seeps into the joints of the formations. Once the sun sets, the water freezes again expanding up to 9% as it becomes ice. Its force on the rocks through this process called "frost wedging" shatters and pries the weak rock apart.
At the same time, rain water, which is naturally acidic, slowly dissolves away the limestone, rounding off the edges of the fractured rocks and washing away the debris. New Hoodoos are constantly forming as small rivulets of water run down Bryce’s rim forming gullies. The gullies are cut deeper and narrow walls of rocks known as fins begin to emerge. The fins eventually develop holes known as windows. The windows in turn grow larger till their roof collapse, creating the Hoodoos. The same Hoodoos age and collapse, new ones are born…
We will probably go back to the Park sometime and camp to try to witness a sunrise or two. Seems that all of Europe was there as I could not hear a single person speaking the English language! 9 out of 10 being rental RV’s or Motorcycles, also rentals, in groups doing Las Vegas to Chicago with much of the route on 66, a favorite amongst many riders. Spirit must have had his picture taken at least a hundred times since I could not get him out of his sidecar at the view point… dogs not allowed. They are however allowed in the campgrounds and for that matter on any other roads to be walked which is what we did. When I finally asked a Ranger why they were not allowed at the view points, the answer was that they disturbed the Chipmunks and the Ravens… a source of photography for many tourists. Now I know much about where their priorities are!
Hope "you" can read the sign… We did have a good time. It is fun to listen to the Tourists speaking a language that I understand without letting them know of that fact. I am always curious what they have to say about the rig and Spirit… Their cameras are always ready and eventually I do reply with their own understanding in which case the questions start almost endless! Maybe I will have a brochure printed!
Life is calm right now, with the anticipation of yet so many destinations and the visit of old Friends they are exciting times as also summer will be making its way into the cooler times of Fall. The Journey might be taking another direction toward being in proximity of a bigger city for a while. Work is becoming a need and I keep thinking as to how we survived these past almost two years. One might say that we might have been ill prepared when leaving, and I would agree with that notion. But I knew that, it is not a mystery to me, being on the road was a more important aspect of Life than anything else trying to heal from the events of the near past.
Much has happened these past months. I enjoy looking at my own Archives sometimes surprising myself as to where we have been, wrote about and photographed. There is no thoughts about stopping the Journey… Karma will put us on the right path when needed, it is just a matter of survival priorities and I am fine with it, no matter… we will always be able to one way or the other be on the go, maybe just not moving as much, but instead digging deeper in the region we will be at. Selling T shirts was not a very smart move as I have had to meet their minimum printing requirement every time running out of a certain size, not that they sold well anyhow! I will be transferring all merchandise sales to SmugMug next time and have a… "sale" on the ones I still have here in inventory… I will post the sizes and quantity and it will be first come first served. Funny! "I lost my shirt… selling T shirts!". We have to see the humor in all of this… don’t we!
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Ara Gureghian 853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245 Naples, Fl 34108
Ara & Spirit