How about if… Utah

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

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We have all leaped so fast within these past years, meaning within our “society”. The age of the Internet seemingly has shorten the hours, the days and weeks or maybe lengthen them, whichever way one wants to look at it. Technology has put us closer together through even micro social environments, such as Twitter which if used with common sense can be such a great tool to stay in touch, or if used with greed can be such a tool to be a pain filled with bold lies as any other advertisements misdoubted one can be bombarded with. Cars are faster, planes are, even motorcycles are now capable of warp speeds designed for roads not even yet build. Is the mind however working any faster? Is it thinking better? How is it feeling? Or is it only being subjected by all this high tech components surrounding us and actually with a hard grind only trying to keep up… maybe even sometimes loosing the battle to stay afloat? or loosing some of it’s own senses, sacrificing them to catch up with what truly is not so important only to be “there” with the flow.

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Yes, Spirit and I live a bit in our own “space”. It is a vast chamber we share with others that also have been on the road for many years, others that often have an odd a bit detached Lifestyle. It is the arena we now also share with you all. It seems that being homeless with a certain structured stability missing, induces this “way of Life”, this hard to describe movement through existing moments even though we are all within the same field. We stand out? we stand in? I don’t know, but I do know it is not subjected to the rules and the daily tribulations of everyone’s Life. The “box” is full and yet the structure is different. Everyone seems as they are passing us as on a 5 lane freeway with no speed limit posted. It is as we are riding on the shoulder of these roads on which everyone is trying to get ahead… but ahead of what?

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Once in a while a little window within our little box comes ajar and I get a glance of what is on the outside. It scares me now, it makes me nervous, it agitates me, troubles me and at times worries me because of maybe the fear of witnessing the loss of our core that makes us who we are: our inner feelings. How ironic that it is the one component one cannot shop for! It is advertised everywhere, the cruise, the vacation, the shiny new bike or car… but all is only hollow if we don’t have it within us. It is as a blind man trying to drive, it is as a deaf individual trying to listen to the last Concerto. I feel as this wave of incredible technology has crushed so many more concerned with speed, shine and marketing to only keep up with the neighbors, often invalidating what was once who we really were.

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I really know this because we are not “there”, I only see glimpses of it. But “how about if… ” we could turn the clock around maybe, all look at each other’s eyes, hold each other’s hands, slow down and with a giant embrace try to get back to our foundations even if they are as far back as our beginnings, no matter because I know they are still there, they are our roots embedded for ever. I am aware of my own naivety, no doubt… and yet as daily I come across others sending us their kindness and care, I cannot help thinking on this above path only because so many others are themselves seemingly lost in the chaos that now surrounds the too many clusters everyone lives in. 

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Page 2… With a root canal behind me, however still a bit non forceful toward my own energy, we took a short ride on the Colorado River Eastbound. Mother Nature today had deployed her clouds and the parade coincidentally and seemingly was on my route. Or maybe I was just following. The landscape becomes a bit almost “unreal” as the colors start glowing, the shadows mixed in with the rays start playing their own hide and seek games. I really wanted to ride “Onion Creek” but as soon as a few miles away, the temperature went up tremendously. Moab is definitely getting warm early and in another five days we should be at higher elevations staying a bit cooler.

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So instead of the long ride I made a right when I saw the “Fisher Towers” sign. It is a 2.2 mile graded dirt road a bit uphill at times with immediately a view of the Towers. It was hot, hotter than I thought as always is when starting to hike within canyons that reverberate the heat of the day without a single breath of fresh air. We had fallen in the same situation last year a couple times, specially I remember when hiking Kodachrome State Park. We did not take the long route, I just have to tell myself and understand that sometimes the weather will get the upper hand as we have to oblige to the conditions, specially for Spirit who I think has become a bit softer… and does not handle heat very well.

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I knew he was telling me we need to get out of there… luckily he waited in the shade. Ah! those eyes… The Fisher Towers are one of the most outstanding scenic features of Utah’s Colorado River way. These rock pinnacles soar above a maze of red and purple hued canyons. The colors are what amazes me, constantly changing, never the same hue from one step to another as later on looking at the photos I am always wondering if there was something wrong with the camera. There is a small campground and a couple trail heads located at the base of the towers. The facilities at the recreation site include a vault toilet, fire grills and picnic tables but there is no drinking water.

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The Fisher Towers are composed of the Organ Rock Tongue of the Cutler geologic formation capped by rock of the Moenkopi formation. The Towers are isolated remnants of a 225 million year old floodplain deposit of the Uncompahgre highland, which was located in western Colorado. When the Colorado Plateau was uplifted, salt deposits underlying this region buckled, warped, and collapsed. Subsequent erosion caused the formation of valleys and cliff escarpments. They stand up staring around as almost not belonging there and yet with their such strong affirmation we can only admire.

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The highest tower, the 900 foot Titan, was first climbed in 1962 by three men from Colorado. Their ascent was described in “We Climbed
Utah’s Skyscraper Rock” published in the November 1962 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Although the crumbly texture of the towers offers less than ideal conditions, rock climbing is now relatively common in this area as a result of recent developments in climbing techniques and equipment. The hiking trail along the base of the towers offers excellent views of these carved piles of hardened mud and adjacent canyon systems. A bit crumbly but doable… and hot with stagnant air for that day.

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Suddenly by mid afternoon heading back to the parking lot I realized that no one was around, no one really most likely wanted to put up with the heat. It was time for us also to exit, get back to camp where maybe the temperatures would be cooler as they were.

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So the weekend is approaching, fuel prices have gone up and Moab is not filled to the brim as they say was going to be. Maybe too early yet, will see. Still debating going through western Colorado or directly to Wyoming. Logistics and budgeting! Have a great Memorial Day week-end… stay safe.

Almost three years of Photography is finally in order on Smug Mug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Utah the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through Smug Mug. 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.

Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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6 Responses to “How about if… Utah”

  1. chessie Says:

    Ara, page one…
    You know some of us might really know what your talking about, while others of us…have yet to experience the joy of your kind of “homelessness”.
    First, I think I want to say this…it’s not really homeless, your life…your wandering…for me the definition of homeless, means a sense of loss…a loss of direction, being tossed from what is known…into a scary unknown…and finding themselves unable to cope…unable to find or understand, or perhaps simply unable to accept the rules and boundaries of a life of wandering.

    I suppose there are many ideas of homeless… but to me, if your living a life with rules you understand, if your living a life that provides you with what you need to feel nourished… body, mind and soul… then your not homeless. I don’t mean to imply that nourish means full…and without search for more…I don’t mean total contentment, I mean you understand your place within the structures you’ve placed… upon yourself. I think perhaps it’s safe to say… Your one of the least “homeless” men I’ve ever known.

  2. texascindy Says:

    It not only looks hot in these pics, I can smell the heat from where I sit hundreds of miles away! Beautifully captured sights and wonderfully worded thoughts, Ara.
    As always, safe travels,
    Cindy

  3. Zelda Says:

    Hi, Ara,
    Enjoyed your latest superb work! But your work is typically superb (emphasis on “work” here). Your first picture is beautiful and unique, whether it is ribbons of clouds or an airplane’s con trail blown by the wind. We have visited Arches Park once, and were captivated by the rock formations and plant and animal life around them. But your pictures bring us new and different views of them with every post – no two are the same.

    Vagabond or homeless, I’m not sure, but you are very much a working man. Perhaps you fit more into the stereotype of the poor artist, who, driven by his work, accepts the simplest daily food and shelter to continue doing what he is driven to do. I still feel that, as contributors we get the satisfaction of helping to make this work possible.

    Continued vagabonding to you and Spirit in good health and safety,

    Pam & Randy

  4. Maxwell Says:

    I am your #1 fan, Spirit. Take care of your master:)

  5. Ginny Says:

    Wow what a gorgeous place Utah is. I fully understand why you want to be there. I’ve had you on my mind a lot and hope you are feeling better physically. This post was well written and once again you put into words something meaningful and thought provoking. Hugs to you and Spirit

    Ginny

  6. kathy Says:

    Ara
    I found your site this morning through Chessie’s blog. We may be kindred spirits – my wanderings through your blog and website sparked a strong wave of wanderlust. It’s always there – beckoning – the siren song of the road. You’re just living the life many of us dream of, but have not yet had the courage to break free and live. My escape is several years away but it will come.

    I’m with Chessie on the homeless idea – homeless just means you may not have a permanent address at the moment – but you have a richer and more meaningful “home” than most people on the planet. Living life on your own terms, where and when and who you choose to share it. Is there any better way to live our lives but in each and every moment? Without the chaos?

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