Environmental essayist Edward Abbey once wrote of Big Bend National Park, "I’d rather be broke down and lost in the wilds of Big Bend, any day, than wake up some morning in a penthouse suite high above the megalomania of Dallas or Houston."
Yesterday was one of those. A dark day both inside out, one that will shed another layer or two away from the core of this wandering Soul, the price to pay to emerge with a better clarity of the mind. Mind, Soul, Awareness, Conscience, Friendships, Love… all inward, all within, and all “here”. If we let it. There is no shine on the outer besides the rays of a sun when making it’s at times daily appearances, there is no glitter here besides the quartz reflections when caught upon the right angle, silences are the notes prevailing at all time. So I made some noise. I talked to a couple Friends last night, we enjoyed each other’s voices, exchanges of thoughts and most important, being here for each other. I cannot deny that my Life has gained a sensitivity accrued by the shedding of the so many layers a previous Life had adorned me with. Such sensitivity and awareness is often the cause and roots of hurts at times a bit deeper than what use to be, but I would not trade it all for anything else. It is the gift that Lance has given me. It is himself erasing his presence from this Life that has channeled me on this path, each and every single traits as above having totally nothing to do with any aspect of an ability of being purchased, only the result of a growth over these past years.
I can be down at times. I will also, as myself, put down again the words that will empty me from the casted shadows of those times, and then, only then I will again go on facing my own reality, “that one”. The one with only those occupants that have been such good Friends and good neighbors for the many past years. “My” and “Self”. What a ride it is some days, no wheels even needed, just running on empty till this tank again can be filled. There is no beginning and there is no end. This morning as I step outside, still in the dark, up the skies as my eyes become one with the obscurity, the stars are out, a thick blanket as a silver lining everywhere I turn. It is going to be a great day, the sun will be shining sending it’s energy a bit dwindled from these past couple days. Might be a bit of a late start, but we will be out there, Spirit and I in full force.
We now are back and have crossed finally what was in my mind, this winter hurtle. The best ride we have had in a long time as the roads, unpaved and sometimes rough and tough took us into the bowels of Big Bend Park to the Mariscal Mines. I was a foot taller all day, I could touch the skies when we returned late at night with no cold felt but only that overjoyed and over abundant energy that had overfilled me all day, still flowing, still moving me with such more ease for the present. Oh! how much I wish I could have shared this day with all my Friends. I shall remember “it” for a long time all along with my decision that winter is over, Spring is here, “here”..
We left early, the usual moving in the hack. Cameras, food, water, music which I now enjoy more and more on those long straightaway stretches, and Spirit of course who quite often only needs a look for him to jump into his own time machine. He is always ready, his head up, cleverly, so I can put on his goggles and helmet as he has not stopped amazing me as so often, specially when riding the rough roads and bouncing all over the place, I wonder what is he really thinking? He is in his car a different dog suddenly, moody when some try to take a picture of him when calling him or making those foolish mouth sounds to get his attention as he only will then ignore them even more. I would to by the end of a day. Or totally excited rolling down those rocky roads we did, right and left, up and down and over leaning goes his head an body taking it all in. He still looks at me every few seconds, maybe he is making sure I am still in control of this machine, this three wheel “thing” that comes rolling down those uneven roads with much ease.
We left early but we arrived at the Mines very late. It was the day of the Farmer’s Market at the Ghost Town in Terlingua and I should have known better if we were going to make any kind of time that day. But of course, chat, chat, chat… The local pastime, well received I must say with sweets and Pizza I did not really need. I did not see much locally grown produce, I just think it is a great social event instead. The sun was hot, the moods were elevated, I think it was everyone’s best prescription that day for an ill past “cabin fever”. Almost ready to leave when I saw the stacked up Dutch Ovens, meaning the Pizza was not too far off. A bit longer and a bit longer I think it was finally past noon when we left for the Park.
I was always warned about “River Road”, the unpaved one, maybe it is “West River Road” which has much more difficulty. But starting with the information I received at the gate it definitely was a “go” for us. I did stop also at the Visitor Center to write down their phone number just in case, a back up of my SPOT as they are open till 6pm. I also always carry a SAT phone. Asked again about the road condition, but the Lady behind the counter had no clue and honestly was not interested in such clues, only pointed on the map a road I already know existed. The ride off road started with some excitement as also another rider on a Triumph Tiger, the older dual sport model however with street tires, was ahead of me. I lost him very quickly even wondering maybe he knew of a side road and had taken it. Only till coming around a curve and there is the bike laying on the ground. He was up, torn jeans, no protective clothing whatsoever, limping a bit. He did not want me to take a photo… Broken rear brake lever, fuel all over the place, he could not get the bike up till another car showed up as we then all helped him out. Never took his helmet off, and rode away as he again was going to wipe out. All I could do is shake my head.
Great ride it was, the road is of a fine one, high clearance and rocky at times, smooth as black top at other times. More to the Mines next time.
Till next time, you all be well, always, it is our best choice.
Ara & Spirit
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