Photos of our route to Valley of Fire, the little Town of Pioche and it’s Museum and our campsite.
Wednesday, June 17th, evening. Wondering if I am getting “soft” on the road? The weather turned bad, the skies burst out, as always in such deep fury lately, and I had to seek shelter. How did we manage to have such good weather for the past almost three years we have been on the road? These wet logistics are new and even with Spirit’s car having a cover, it is not total protection. I am literally dreaming of clear blue skies that would last a serious forever. I will probably find that space when we return to Wyoming, Montana and even Colorado in July. A space with green meadows and a creek running near by, the images as we have seen not too long ago but could not stay. Living on the road has it’s easy times and difficult times. The hardest part while in transit is finding a place to sleep, a free place to sleep. In one more year, when I turn 62, camping in National Parks, BLM and others will drop to half price and considering that the normal fee is anywhere from $12 to $15 a night, it will then be more affordable for us. Most BLM of course is free. The Lifetime Pass also for National Parks will be a flat $10 fee versus the one more yearly $80 awaiting for us.
My favorite way to spend the single night is laying my bivi bag down with the sleeping pad and bag inside of it, right next to Old Faithful and Spirit, at the end of some trail unseen from the main road. Wake up at the crack of dawn, a good cup of black coffee, a bit of a hike maybe to loosen us up and back putting on the miles toward a destination where we would then stay a few days. What happens so often is not covering many miles toward the space we are going to. We stop too often, there is always a photo opportunity, a great place to take a break as I figured the other day that our average, if lucky, is about 30 miles per hour. I don’t like setting up my tent for one night, too much trouble and so everything has to cooperate for the bivi bag scenario, meaning to pick a spot fairly early as another one might not show up, the weather…
My I phone has made writing the Blog much easier as I can in an e mail format using the “easy writer” larger key board application. It’s publishing with this present summer time scenario might drop to maybe less often as a connection is still needed to send it to myself, switch it to a Blog format and also have some power to go through the photos. Some day when this portable solar suitcase power is ready, the photos will also be doable off line. Laptops just do not have enough battery life to do so even though I have two batteries for it. Every other gadget can be recharged while riding… the era of “electronic times”, truly amazing. I remember taking a long road trip in the mid seventies. My only accessory was a map. No cell phone, no GPS, no nothing except as much as I dislike unveiling this… an eight track player mounted within the Windjammer fairing I had with a couple small speakers and only if I remember well maybe 4 or 5 tapes.
Cooking is never a problem. Good stove, pots and pans, good coffee and grinder with a stainless steel French Press. This new cooler that holds the ice for 2 to 3 days is a real savior as I don’t even eat meat every day, replaced often by garbanzo beans in a can. We carry about 2 liters of stove fuel in 4 cans and 6 gallons of water. A creek, running water is the real savior as I can then use a water filter and refill a 5 gallon sun shower. A couple spices, a bottle of olive oil, a couple lemons and limes, and anything I can find within the last road stand which is always a surprise.
Friday, June 18th, evening.”We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here…. After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it?….Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?” [Quote “Richard Dawkins”]
Much to ponder about…
Friday, June 19th, evening. We are installed in Valley of Fire, second campground called Arch Rock, and the good old stove decided to finally after a few years of good service to spit it’s fuel instead of gently pressuring it to cook my dinner. So tomorrow will be an emergency run to R.E.I. in Las Vegas. My first thought of course was “coffee” in the morning. Neighbors? There is not a soul around here, empty… Fire? There is no wood. I use to have a back up alcohol little stove, but that is long gone. I do have a catalytic heater for the tent with one bottle of propane and that is what I will try.
It has been a couple whirlwind days as we had a surprise phone call from my Friend Bill who lives in Florida. He was about 100 miles behind us and about 200 miles south. Having not seen each other for almost three years, we decided to meet in Lely which was on our way south. We arrived within one hour of each other, his contribution was two separate rooms at Motel 6! Our Own room. Luxury, a real shower, a real bed and 3 years of catching up, much gossip.
Bill’s wife, Kammie, had stayed behind, we are very close as I lived with them for a few months after Lance passed away. And a very strange
thing happened as we looked at each other, expressing both, as if it was only yesterday I had left, time had never passed, as we picked up the conversation where we had left off.
What an incredible time and ride as he followed us here before making his run back East. I know tonight both Spirit and I are tired, tired from the windy roads and the too much food including the best Mexican food, in Ely, by far, a Restaurant called “La Fiesta”.
Silence is back tonight as I cherish it so much. I don’t care for campgrounds but this one is well worth it’s price of admission, not because they have added water at each site and also showers, but because it is a space unlike others. The campground, I have to say, has been well designed to not take away the mystery of those thousands of faces and eyes looking at us. I sit outside the tent right now, gusts of winds are sweeping this site which I named the last time we were here “the
rock condo”. The sun is now resting, a few clouds are still glowing due west. I feel at Peace tonight, and for a change, my hopes have been rewarded with heat and no rain in sight. It is time to call it a night.
Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.
Ara & Spirit