More on Black Gap WMA… Texas

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

old faithful a

I wonder if anyone else goes through themselves the lunar phases? As it has to be the Moon… The tides are affected, incredible water levels changing daily and more so strongly during mean high and low level tides. Why not us… we are mainly formed of water. It is not at every cycle, but a few times a year. It is as a veil has come down enveloping everything in between myself and the outside world, sometimes in such an inner turmoil that as much aware I am of it, I have to just wait till it dissipates. It is gone today, all is clear again, the lights shine bright and there is a renewed energy toward it all. Much to do right now as we will probably start heading North around the 10th of next month. Valley of the Gods will be our first destination… I think. I am drawn to that space, it is as another Oasis awaiting us, a vast one with monuments carved over the years for the senses to take it all in.

flowers b

I have no clue what the other destinations will be. For the first time finances are playing a big role within our Journey. They always have, but now more so than ever. For that reason free camping is going to be what I will be searching for and at the same time spaces worthy of photography and a mind set for the beauty of it all. It is a hard find sometimes as any space so attractive is generally a tourist destination. So this will take much research, specially finding new areas we have never been in.

dirt road

As much as I have tried to make something out of my photography, with much help from others that have been in the “business” for a long time, even tough I don’t like to call it a “business”, I am sadly realizing that without a Home Base it is going to be logistically impossible. Visiting cities such as Park City, Santa Fe, Moab, Taos, were many “nice” galleries do exist will only mean much expenses for me, putting up photos on the walls also is an investment not possible right now. They have to be signed, numbered… I so much wish I had an agent of some sort, as someone a while back spoke to me about. I have since tried that route a couple times only ending up with much talk and no action. So… all will go on as it has, try to maybe spiff up my Smug Mug Gallery which I think has too many photos offered, try to streamline it all. Maybe start a brand mew Gallery with fewer photos and a write up on them to their meaning and locations.

flowers d

Who thought Life on the road would be easy? I never did… but the “prize” is huge. Ideas as I was told a few times, because it is alright to make a living from an honest situation as this is, I have also been told, are of many. I am trying to reconcile with that concept as it’s original thought was never to be on that particular path. A recipe book, a coffee table book, photos, a shortened version of this site on paper, all are possible, but all are costly of an investment and all require many hours putting it all together with also much traveling. Specific traveling. The book is here, it is written just about on a daily basis, the photos are also here and the time spend on this pages does not allow me to do more. Maybe a better opportunity, a steady one, is awaiting for us to enable this Journey to continue as it has.

dirt road a

Just some thoughts. I often read other’s own Journeys in the form of their own Blogs and enjoy them immensely. I enjoy their entertaining values. But I never really get to know the writer. The words written are often not of a personal Journal as it has been here, sometimes I am sure with no doubts bringing up, as someone wrote to me the other day, some “haunting thoughts”. No harm done, it gave me a smile, it has been this way from day one and it’s path will not change. So sheltered and yet so intimate that readers I sometimes meet know me better than I myself do. And maybe I think my photography goes hand in hand with the words, as maybe a synopsis going along with the taken images would be an interesting introduction.

fish a

fish b  

But enough babbling and back to the road leading us to the Rio Grande through the Black Gap WMA. We came across this shack we stopped at, how could we not! It had fish heads hanging from it’s ceiling. I was going to ask the purpose of it all upon our return to Stillwell, but I forgot and so this will remain a mystery till we ride in again as we have yet to experience the paved road which leads to the river. Unpaved roads always come first. They are catfish heads… I have no clue. Maybe to keep some insects away? animals away? It was not near any campsite… I keep wondering with no results.

kayaks a

kayaks b  

The dirt road leading to the Rio Grande was not bad at all. The recent rains have helped pack everything down as it looks as it would have been very powdery for the last mile or so, always however with a hard underground. Taking it all in, resting and contemplating this desolate place did not last too long as Spirit’s ears stood up. They always do a few minutes before I can even hear anything or for that matter see anyone coming. What timing! Good colors in contrast with the murky polluted waters of the river, a nice photo… people. A few kayakers from La Linda on the river rafting for 6 days. This was going to be their camping spot, and I did appreciate them asking me if they were going to disturb my own space thinking we were also camping. Too bad that dogs are never allowed on any river, it is one Journey we would have liked to take, not particularly this one, but some others we always come across throughout the Journey.

flowers c

end of the road  

Peaceful times, nice ride within this “no hunting” season, no one was fishing either, and it was time to get back. Not used to looking at a clock, I did this time wanting to be back to Stillwell for some live music. We said our good byes and realizing being a bit late I had to pick up the speed, totally disliking being under any kind of schedule. A habit formed over these past years, a habit hard to break as suddenly it is as being transported into everyone else’s real space.

creek bed a

creek bed b creek bed c

We came across a resemblance of our own swimming hole which is just a few miles from here, remnants of years passed, almost as if Mother Nature had her giant shoes on and left us some footsteps to ponder on. We rode on and arrived in due time for the music, I think the audience for up to 8, half of the population of Stillwell as of course “American Idol” jokes started flying through the room. Everyone was a winner, it was a good feel, where else but on the road can one experience such an evening… Country Music at it’s best it was.

Hallies a  

band b band a

The ride back to The Oasis was in the dark through Old Marathon Rd, a dirt road too familiar a few times, a good excuse to develop some rear wheel sliding skills, but not such a good idea when the road is hilly in parts with an unexpected turn. It was bound to happen, no warning from Spirit, we (I) missed one and end up off the road hugging my left side with some plant which it’s name escapes me, a plant that had been waiting for me to pass by and get off the path needed for safe passage. No come along that day and my flashlight of course had it’s batteries taken out and placed in another pocket which I had to search for. Total preparedness I thought not smiling from some pain right into the left kidney.

trailer

stillwell ranch  

I need to pick my night riding in parallel with a full moon or close to it, as even my seven headlights did not prevent this little escapade. No harm done, just some soreness for a couple days and much strength build up from pulling Old Faithful back onto the road. It was a great ride, there is no traffic, pitch black darkness, but I have to say that when suddenly lights from houses appeared, the good feeling of it all was a bit heightened. And now getting ready for another one…

Stillwell sign

spirit a

Twenty nine months 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 prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.

Internet connections, bandwidth, cameras, fuel… they are all part of this Blog allowing page after page to be published. Contributions to the site are welcomed always. Maybe your reading the Blog is worth $1 a month…

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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7 Responses to “More on Black Gap WMA… Texas”

  1. A Lady's Life Says:

    You sure are making some nice memories.
    Your shots are totally wonderful.
    You need some good marketing.

    Things and people change
    Land changes faster than you can blink an eye and when they do, your photos will be worth millions.
    I guess you need to look for things to photograph that will change sooner than later.
    Like those natural foot prints in the earth.
    And it is really something to find little lakes in the middle of no where you can take a dip in. I am sure I’d be ready for that
    as would anybody. Looks like its pretty hot.

    Thanks 🙂

  2. conchscooter Says:

    600,000 lost jobs every month in the US. More people taking pay cuts. Cities in the old rustbelt collapsing. (Flint,Detroit). St Louis is eliminating half it’s bus service. Sacramento is opening up the state fairgrounds to people living in tents involuntarily. Things are changing and the easy living of the past two decades, on credit, has ended. The very wealthy are startled and the rest of us wait for the pink slip. Coffee table books? Coffee? Tables? You don’t need a coffee table book to live in a tent city. People write to me and tell me to make my blog into a book. I’m just glad my wife and I have jobs and can pay our mortgage and i have time to relieve the stress taking pictures of Key West, which has yet to feel the deep pain of this Great Depression. I’m also really glad we spent years out sailing and know how to live off the grid, a sentiment I’m sure you share. It’s 1930 Ara, and the worst is yet to come.

  3. A Lady's Life Says:

    Your pie recipes are interesting.
    Apples with chile?
    Need to try this and what is this mole ingredient?
    Dry mole … is it really dry mole???

    We had some in our back yard but the cats caught them all.
    They are soo cute. and have no eyes.
    hmmmm. 🙂

  4. Michael Roach Says:

    I have seen people clean catfish by hanging them up like this, but I have no idea why the heads were left there to rot. I reckon this will remain a mystery.

  5. texascindy Says:

    Ara,
    Thanks again for sharing your stories with us. BGWMA is another place we have yet to explore on our trips to Big Bend. We did visit Hallie’s museum and drove down to La Linda bridge last time out there. Next time we will stay for the music if we can time it right.

    Travelling with a full moon would be a good idea. It is so dark out there without it! But when we were in the desert that one night, even with no moon, it was still light enough to see shapes as you walked! Of course, we weren’t going fast at all! You be careful out there!

    I hope your trip comes together the way you need for it to.
    As always…
    Safe travels!
    Cindy

  6. Don Says:

    Ara,
    Nice to meet you on the roadside. Hope the ocotillo pics turned out ok. My trip was most excellent even with the friends and family requiring RV hookups. Safe travels.

    –Don, aka Boojum1 @ bbchat

  7. Randy Says:

    Companionship, friends and The Arts are right up there with shelter and food. They help make us Human. Your work is sustenace for me.

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