11am and Spirit was still curled up on his bed! A couple hours earlier I was just myself waking up to the warm rays of sunshine coming through these dusty blinds. "Old Faithful", like a new toy, is being well used with over 1000 miles already since its major overhaul! And now we are both exhausted, bodies are tired and next step here, will try to fulfil a mile long list of "to do’s" which is facing me in plain view. Working is becoming a must if we want to get back on the road in May including some local travels this winter. Fuel cost might have gone down, a long lasting tire is on but somehow the phone company, Internet, vehicle insurance, food, propane and all that good stuff remains a monthly expense showing constant numbers with no lesser zeros than before. I have been in touch with "Cibolo Creek Ranch" for a position maybe 3 days a week, the Manager has just returned and I am waiting for his call back. I like their Menu… However far, close to 100 miles from here, if it becomes reality I will take the RV and stay there for the days worked and come back on my off days for some local travel and photography.
The "phone box"! What a magic this has been including high speed DSL, much faster than the Dish I have been using and already many long conversations with my now, very happy Mother. I have yet to deal with a Company as service oriented at the Big Bend Telephone! They have come back to check on the line, they have replaced a card that had originally a bit of clicking noise and static. These conveniences have been a total surprise for me and maybe for Spirit also as he seems to be waiting for a phone call!
Thursday saw the arrival in Alpine of many riders from the "Motorcyclist Cafe", a Forum that I gladly belong too, as I call them "nice people". Not about how fast your ride is, or how shiny or size, it is about camaraderie, Friendships and the ride itself. The "Aprilia" motorcycle Dealer near by was also present with quite a few demos for everyone to ride including a new "automatic" model that seemed to be the most favorite one. "Dean" is the founder of the Forum, an ex owner of "BMW motorcycle of San Jose" in California, seen here on a demo…
The "The Best Western Motel" has been taken over by the group and even though we did not stay there, all I heard was some incredible array of services. Sandwiches in the afternoon, a towel on each motorcycle seat in the morning to wipe off the dew, 24/7 coffee and cappuccino and juices and great rooms. Maybe next year we will also stay there instead of coming back the 60 miles to "The Oasis"!
My hat goes off to "Lewis" for sure, the man with his incredible organizational skills, providing us with a great dinner in Alpine last night at the Edelweiss Restaurant situated in the Holland Hotel. Unfortunately none of those pictures turned out! Maybe I was too busy chatting and eating my chicken covered with avocado and melted Swiss cheese with roasted sliced tomatoes and… a triple mousse dessert which I really did not need! Every seat had a name card and everyone had name tags! I had two… as Lewis had also printed one for Spirit. He had to unfortunately wait outside but was never alone too long, he is always after all the "Star"… who knows, maybe some day he will learn to ride and we could trade places.
It really was a great time, unusual for me to meet many people readers of the Blog. A bit strange as I keep writing these words as my own personal Journal, they knew me better than I knew them! Winter has made its mark here now and for the first time the electric heated gear has been out these past couple of days, so are the thermo wear, wool hat, and generally the heater has been set these past nights. Voni, Paul and I rode back together last night, I was leading for the reason of "Old Faithful’s" many headlights, a leisurely ride back with the intent to avoid the wildlife that could be wandering on the roads.
Winter will not be too hard here, we have gone through this before. It will only be hard mentally as already I cannot help "wanting" to leave with a packed tent and sleeping bag to some unknown destinations. That is just me! The cold nights are a constant reminder of the undesirable situation sleeping in the tent with no heat! I just cannot handle what I use to just a few years past, maybe unless I really had to which is not the case. It will all work out.
There is a marker on the road to Presidio I had never stopped at. I had also never really known how Big Bend had all come about as I found the writing and background photos pretty interesting.
I had some ingredients the other night that needed to be used. A couple potatoes, some garlic of course, half an onion, some cilantro, a couple ripe tomatoes, half a zucchini and a thin slice of beef. I knew the beef was going to be tough and there was no sense sauteing it ahead of time. A bit of olive oil in the pan and all went in to be cooked slowly simmering for about 45 minutes. Kind of a stew!
Almost looks like a commercial! I am trying some new spices, new to me anyhow, which I added at the end. A tablespoon or so of Worcestershire and a bit of this Montreal Steak spice which I wonder if it really comes from Montreal! The dish complemented the cold nights we have had, missing only some home made whole wheat bread which I will start baking real soon. Better to have the oven on and get something out of it then the heater.
I think we will go for a long ride tomorrow, maybe Marathon taking the dirt road. They also do have a great Bakery! I just checked… they are closed on Sunday!
Just another day at "The Oasis".
Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In "Your Favorites", in "States", some labeled "first year" and second year", now also "Texas the third year". Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.
Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.
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Be well, always. Ara & Spirit