Thursday, June 25th, afternoon. I think we both had heat damage. It has never taken us this long to recuperate from a round trip such as last week. I also discovered, wether I admit it or not, that we are used to a certain routine and as the days went on without the ability to exercise such functions I have now been so used to, I started feeling a bit lost, as one expression says “in limbo”. It amazes me as we do not follow a schedule, there is no clock or calendar unless needed, must be the internal one…
Our main reason to set our destination this time to Valley of Fire was to meet Paul and Ludwig which I introduced in the last Blog. They have been good Friends this past year and their success in the Movie Industry, even as beginners and as young as they are, 32 and 34, has been remarkable. Always nice to see the youth, specially having my same origin as an Armenian, climb the ladder, slowly as their Industry is a tough one, but surely as they have done. Having started with commercials they are now up to a 27 minute Movie which will be screened for the Oscars in September. Non commercial it is, one of the rules for short Movie presentation, but I have seen it a few times and it is admirably directed with an incredible artistic talent. Having won the “Young Director Award” at the Cannes Festival, “Young Discovery Award” at the Rhodes Island Festival, “Best Short Movie” at the Los Angeles Film Festival, I can only contemplate for them an incredible future. They were mesmerized with “Valley of Fire”, Spirit, Old Faithful, but short on time their moments together even if playing “tourists” at time were well spend ending up with a simple dinner I prepared under the stars blanketing us with an incredible glow. Poor Spirit… he did not want to have anything with the picture taking in the heat we endured!
While passing through Salt Lake City which I realized while riding it’s freeway from south to north as being an endless avenue of drivers on steroid, as a coincidence I found out that Louise and Shaun were parked at their least favorite space being part of a yearly convention they attend, the Downtown KOA. Who are Louise and Shaun? Readers of ours, you can read her many kind comments here and these past times she has been on a personal level my “voice of reason”. You know… the voice that is always correct and we don’t like to hear. What a welcome we had and dinner topped with the privilege of spending the night in “the Bus” they call “The Odyssey”. It would take me pages to describe their full time home, it is all in details with even interior photos on their Blog, but I need to say that it is the most tastefully appointed RV I have ever seen. No golden chandeliers here, no Louis the XIV trim, only granite, beautiful woods and a comfort that made me forget where I was. A full double decker with garage and hot tub downstairs! Also the home of Opal, their dog who I know took a liking to me, who also put up with Spirit, George the cat and so sorry… I forgot the name of George’s companion…
Saturday, June 27th, afternoon. Feeling thrown right to left lately I am realizing what this Journey is all about. It takes time and will likely take longer as the steps upwards only keep presenting themselves luckily only one by one. My physical course has slowed down allowing my soul, my mind and spirit to reach this space so calm and serene that I search for. We took a ride this afternoon through Red Rock Canyon near by Lander, Wyoming, and it was for sure the right prescription. Suddenly my chest emptied and felt lighter. The landscape so beautiful, the flowers blooming as never seen before, the green carpets with red trim laid out ahead, all waiting for my realization of this path taken.
There is no time being kept, Spirit is in the shade, his pouch filled with water today is not swarming with bees, the ride, the moments added one by one is as a slice of my pie has just been served and sets me at Peace. I don’t think I am thinking slower, I think I am thinking only deeper about what really matters. There is no money that can
provide this element, it only helps getting onto this stage. There is no shiny car that would enhance it all, there is Old Faithful that keeps on rolling as she also I am sure wants to be here.
I don’t want to leave this space, I only want another slice of it tomorrow and the day after and the day after. Do we have to give up what materially surrounds us to reach these steps? I feel as I do, and yet I have not given it all up, we need the bare necessities to survive. The balance is so fine. But priorities have so much changed. If I could build a wall to shelter me from Life’s darts, I would, leaving me only to deal with my own soul’s challenges and keep company to my faithful companions “Mother Nature” and Spirit… My World seems empty maybe, but it is not. The path of my thoughts once a narrow passage is today a wide Avenue I keep as uncluttered as possible. My Friends, met or not met, are of many. I read within their words much wisdom, support and kindness. What more can I desire in this simplicity where a mild wrong turn itself will narrow this Avenue of my thoughts and well being.
They are the spaces as such that provide me the comfort of the mind, when nothing matters, when only the moment truly makes it’s way and surfaces again to let me know of the proper path. What a day this has been and what a ride in this most beautiful arena.
Sunday, June 28th, morning. This canyon was formed some 60 million years ago during the uplift of the Wind River range to the west. As the sedimentary rocks tilted, the more easily erodible rocks were removed by the action of water, creating the canyon as we saw it today. The long grass-covered slopes on the west side of the canyon are part of the Permian Phosphoria formation, a marine deposit composed of limestone, sandstone, dolomite, siltstone, bedded chert and phosphorite. The less-resistant rocks above were eroded. The bottom of the canyon and the lower 300 feet of the east side are eroded into the Triassic Chugwater formation. It consists of the brick red sandstone, shale, and siltstone, and being less resistant to erosion, was removed from the underlying Phosphoria layer. The bright red color of the Chugwater is due to a great amount of oxidized iron between and on the grains of the rock. It is this definite coloration that gives Red Canyon its name.
Red Canyon Rim, which forms the east side of the valley, is comprised of salmon-colored Jurassic Nugget sandstone. This sandstone was deposited during regression of ancient seas. It represents tidal flat and beach sedimentation and was cross-stratified during deposition on ancient back-beach sand dunes. Although I could not quite see the spot over the canyon rim, the site of Wyoming’s first commercial oil well, drilled in 1884, is a few miles to the northeast in the Dallas Dome oil field. The field has produced over ten million barrels of oil since its beginning over 100 years ago. The oil came from the Chugwater, Phosphoria, and Tensleep formations, two of which are visible here. Besides its interesting geologic history, the canyon provides important wildlife habitat for elk, mule deer, and a host of small mammals and birds. Hunting, fishing, and viewing scenery are popular recreational uses of the canyon.
The Nature Conservancy owns and operates the Red Canyon Ranch in the center of the canyon. The ranch produces native hay from the meadows on the canyon floor and grazes cattle on both the floor and surrounding slopes. The goal of The Nature Conservancy is to maintain the land in agricultural use and prevent fragmentation of wildlife habitat through subdivision development. Public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management surround most of the Red Canyon Ranch’s private land. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department also owns land in the canyon which it has designated the Red Canyon Big Game Winter Range. The State of Wyoming owns parcels of land in the lower part of the canyon near the Little Popo Agie (pronounced po-po’-zha) River.
Tomorrow it is on the somewhere between the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I have been warned by a few about the mosquito situation and will just see how that goes. It has rained a lot and if so we will just move on to another space, maybe toward the eastern entrance of Yellowstone at higher elevations. My Friend KC here I think will join us for a few days. He knows the area better than most and will be our source of knowledge.
If ever in this area, take the time to drive, ride this road. Everyone as i saw was too busy and too fast on the Freeway near by and so much missing out on this little piece of Paradise.
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Ara & Spirit