This time around Moab was a sweet and sour experience. Meeting Paul of course was the reason for this little adventure and even considering the brutal weather, if I had to do it again, I would. Two men sharing the same loss, unexplained as it will remain, but both trying their hardest to deal with a situation sometimes uncontrollable by our senses. Having interesting conversations would be an understatement, candid words and emotions as only us could understand. Paul is younger than me, married with children, self employed and I think, well I know, with a better grasp on Life’s unfairness than I do. As we parted this morning I saw him more as a solid rock than myself as a sandstone still eroding and taking shape.
Sunrises in the Arches National Park
His path has been different than mine. His surrounding also has and responsibilities toward others. We both share the same emotions, we both laughed, not in a happy sense of the way but we did, about having always tucked near by when riding some tissues to wipe our tears off, as riding has always been so conductive to thinking… and for us missing. Paul has a "discipline", a grasp of his present Life reality that I do not have as my own reality is more external through my senses versus internal. Everyone has their own therapy when confronted with such tragic turn of events and I now admire him for being on a more solid path than myself.
I don’t know what he has learned from me and taken away on his way home to Chicago, but I myself left with much thoughts and a certain awakening clarifying a path for the future ahead. We will never be happy as we were, as Paul said, a piece of our heart has been torn, irreplaceable. We will always grieve in our own ways, but it is alright to have a good time, it is alright to have a good Life without a guilt which personally I have always been carrying along. We will never understand why it has happened, but on my own ride away today I realized needing to accomplish what I have known but never put in motion… "Having a good inner Life", that is after all what our Children had wished. Thank you Paul…
We met in the afternoon, so nice to put a face after such correspondence, and on we went on to our urban campsite. Dinner time was approaching quickly and as I do, Paul likes to cook, he has actually, to his Wife’s delight… cooked every recipes in this web site. Followed by his little trailer I think he carries more than I do and quickly set up his nice double burner stove. A run to the store and not long after we were enjoying a nice dinner which we called it a… stew! Sliced pork and onion, some cut up potatoes, a can of diced tomatoes and peas with some home made bread, what more could we ask for?
Yes, the mosquitoes were in full force in the company of the no-seeums and some other green bug flying by the hundreds as we were told only a few days out of the year! We were honored by their presence. Considering the heat of the day, we decided to ride up the mountains the next day and do the La Salle loop. High elevations should keep us cool… we thought. Spirit is not doing well in the heat at all. A bit better with his cover on for some much needed shade, a bowl of water even if splashing around, if nothing else cooling off his feet, the mountains were a good decision.
We rode well together. I generally can really frustrate another rider from my fairly slow speed and many stops when I see something I want a picture off! It was time for him to smell the roses as we do, after logging on I think over 5000 miles during the previous two weeks or so. There is a bridge at one point were we stopped and, vertigo or not, I literally laid down on my stomach to take this shot.
I think Paul will get a new camera soon as we stayed by the bridge, under the bridge… around it… for quite a while talking photography as I am finding it more and more a great hobby. The unpaved roads at this time of the year around La Salle mountains are many. I had my laptop in my case, his bike being a more street oriented motorcycle, we stayed on the black top for most of the way. Fruit for lunch, Spirit in the shade with the cooler temperatures and the day was going well.
The loop however was short lived, not long enough to keep us busy all day specially with sunsets not till much later. As we descended, the heat ascended and we found ourselves near Moab by yet still mid day. Campsite?… we will cook! Not food but us. So we decided to take a quick run up to Canyonland for Paul to have his National Park Passport stamped and take a few pictures. We did not last too long as I was getting tired from the lack of sleep the night before, Spirit was really panting heavily which worried me… and so a U turn we did stopping very briefly at Arches for another stamp.
Not much of a choice but return to camp at just about the hottest and muggiest time of the day, late afternoon. Paul’s bike was running rough, so after he removed his panels I checked the throttle bodies which were perfect, his thought was then to change the spark plugs and… that did it! He rode to the store, Spirit and I were ready to passe out and utilizing some shade I started packing for this morning as I had decided to leave very early and sleep in my bivy bag without the tent. After another stew and some late night conversation still the temperatures where not dropping and another sleepless night in Moab!… with a shower at 3am.
There is more to the story, the return back to Escalante… next time as I am fading away pretty quickly here!
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Ara Gureghian 853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245 Naples, Fl 34108
Ara & Spirit