Always nice to receive an e mail from a reader near by and spend some time chatting as it happened last night, specially within the beautiful surroundings of Snow Canyon, north of St George. It is how we met Paul and Mariko, hoping that I am not destroying her Japanese descent name. They are from Logan and touring the same areas we have been in their very cool and efficient 4×4 truck. I wanted to take that opportunity to photograph the Canyon at the same time, however realizing when we arrived that the good photos would only be at sunrise. Wrong side of the road for sunsets!
And of course Spirit, now more than ever a "people dog" has to be in the picture. With no one around and still a couple hours of daylight ahead of us we made ourselves comfortable and… talked. Always nice to find out how today’s "youth" lives when having to attend college, work and yet, have the ability to take some time off to wander, hike and drive those trails that even us are not able to maneuver on, as deep sand and slick rock shelves are beyond "Old Faithful’s" ability. I really liked that truck! Unassuming and yet a true 4×4, snorkel for some serious water crossings, folding tent secured on the rear bed. With enough provisions, anywhere and any place it is a little home away from home.
The pictures are of yesterday’s ride around the neighborhood to Pine Valley and its Park, a bit crowded as it was Friday with many large groups in the picnic areas. It was then on backtracking and riding another loop down North Gunlock Rd and up the dirt road which is BLM land with its lower and upper reservoir where we had camped for a while last year. Michael and I ride well together as we actually ride alone both headed for the same destination. I stop often, he goes on ahead and waits at times and eventually arrives back to his house ahead of me. There is no pressure about myself rushing, trying to keep up and maybe missing out on some photos as it would be normally the case with other riders. As I looked at yesterday’s photos I realized why they are suddenly looking all so different… there are no red rocks! We are now into greens and it just felt so odd almost unnatural as for months all we have been seeing are the sandstones in their multitudes of colors.
Being here is as everything has come to a stand still suddenly. Hard to explain. Loosing days with no awareness of time what so ever, having to discipline myself to run my errands, which I did once leaving Spirit behind, a rare and strange occasion. I was glad I did, it is the big city near by, at a lower altitude the heat is cranked up and while walking through Walmart (!!!), truly better than any full length movie, I was so much more relaxed going up and down the aisles not experiencing shell shock but "price shock".
It has been a long time amongst such display and variety of everything one can use, a bit overwhelming, and finally in a state of confusion I decided that this was only a tentative expedition, I would almost call it an urban adventure. The nearest such display will soon be 300 miles away, and yet, with that fact in mind I kept telling myself if I really needed the items on my mental list. Most of it? I guess not! I generally ask myself the question "can I live without it?". And of course we can, we have done it for the past two years, I just cannot fall into that path of consumerism, a costly one, just to physically have objects thought about through a mental image.
There is always better, bigger, faster and shinier, sometimes in opposite correlation of one’s needs and even myself in the past have fallen into that trap of "I must have"! I have been looking and researching for a new external drive for example… Ah! we are now up to one Terra Bite and more, that is 1000 Giga Bytes! My present one is of 90 Giga Bytes and as my hand reaches for one, its price makes me put it back! Do I really need such high number or is it that we have been programmed to acquire the latest? How about a 350 Giga Bytes for a quarter of its price and feel more comfortable when it comes time to buy some extra food for Spirit?
Maybe I have been away a bit too long from the mainstream. Values have changed. Not much truly matters including appearances. Being constantly amongst the outdoors not much even in matters of clothing sways the mind as they are subjected to being on the ground rubbed against rocks and trees. Dirt and more dirt! I call it clean dirt… The values have become so internal, a fact that is deepening in my thoughts more and more on a daily basis in parallel with a heightened awareness. I feel so much when around such displays and crowds as looking out of a window into a surreal world passing by me, peaking really more than looking. I look and see only when amongst Mother Nature’s displays as they truly please me so much more.
It is being who we are and not what we have as what we have can only be stripped to nothing in a blink of an eye. Who we are remains with us and its contents to the better heightened daily as we should, not letting time pass by idling to no end only to realize that our values have only been stagnant to no end. I think being amongst "all this", the big City as I call it, is making me realize much. The displays are to me overwhelming, stuff and more stuff which of course one can use, but is it really needed if one can do without?
All I can say is that it has been nice being here if it is only for Dammeron’s location at a nice altitude with days not too hot and brisk nights, quiet, some land surrounding us, a good Friend and above all many interesting conversations touching all facets of Life we are fortunate enough to be experiencing. Two people can have such a different path of Life and at the same time such similarities in their values and awareness, making the moments lived full ones, and as much as we can positive ones to maybe have them spilled onto others benefits as that is what our time here should be all about.
We are planning some nice rides and adventures early next week when Sandra returns from her week long Grand Canyon rafting trip. One will be an overnight, maybe two to Toroweap which I am looking so much forward to, another will be the Joshua trail and also one which I forgot the name beyond Mesquite, I call it "through the window". Soon you will also meet my Friend Brian from Placerville, California, the man that keeps the gears of this website well oiled as he will ride here to visit for a while, at least I hope he does.
Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In "Your Favorites", organized also in "States", some even labeled "first year" and second year". Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.
I still have 20 T shirts that need to be sold at cost, $20 including shipping… I do! Some day they will be "collector’s items". You don’t believe me? These are the sizes left.
With the "ADV" (Adventure Rider") logo: 2 XXL ~ 4 XL ~ 2 M
Plain: 2 XXL ~ 3XL ~ 5L ~ 1 M ~ 1 S
Your participation toward the site is always welcomes and accepted through the "contribution" button above… 324 colorful Chapters with many destinations for $1 a month?… now more than ever. Help the site stay alive.
Be well, always. Ara & Spirit