“Yes, at your age, many possible lives await. Go whichever way you choose. Go alone or in company. The companions may walk with you a long way or a little. But at the end of your Life, no matter how crowded were its roads and its days, you will have learned what all must learn. And that will be too late for any starting over, too late for anything but regret. So learn it now. No man/woman has yet lived out any Life but one, and that one his chosen own, and most of that alone” ~ “AZTEC” [Gary Jennings]
So it is late tonight as we are back in Page to push on to, no surprise, Valley of the Gods. Our annual pilgrimage. I am looking at the weather which is forecasting 10 to 20 degree cooler temperatures than normal and wondering if I need to get my muffs and winter coat out of storage. What storage? There is none. My mind as I try to be kind to myself and not call it a brain, is a bit scrambled on overload from past day’s array of so many faces and voices still resonating as in an empty space. I know it is all going to be alright, Utah awaits us and it will not be too hard to discover new trails and smiles within those dirt roads and rocks which will surround us soon. I can do it, I can energize myself back to a space I left a few days ago.
Now if I could only sort out and discern again the faces behind the names that we have met and have been writing to us these past couple days since we left. I can do that too. I have to take notes throughout such occasions, I rely on my memory too much which also “too much” fails after only a dozen names! I just realized “Facebook” is a big help as I start looking at the photos and realize who is who. It is a plus. I am on it as “Ara Gureghian”, amazing technology when a connection is available. The storm is now here, visibility is maybe only a couple hundred feet, Mother Nature is again forcing her way into our lives by sending her message with no reprieve. We are not going anywhere as much as I would like to.
Another day has gone and finally my balance is on an even tilt. It is hard to explain, it is the momentum I have acquired these past years, maybe the lack of it as every step is taken seemingly in slow motion to savor the moments present. There is no time that phases us, only nights and days and the weather. It is I have to admit living on our own terms at all time, and this includes Spirit. I feel as we are back again bonded as we took some short hikes on the beach of Lake Powell today, and him off his leash and myself behind him have been again as one with the increasing ever so much of a connection and a pact stronger by the day as always thinking it could not but is. He is happy, his tail has been wagging. I am happy as his eyes are filled with this inexplicable confirmation of our partnership.
This leads me to go through the images I took at Overland Expo. Not many, the skies white from the low clouds just did not push me hard enough to apply myself. Chatting with so many took over, and yet if nothing else, documents they are here to look back on. Some call it “toys”, I would call them a “home”. I liked the 4×4 Sportmobile with a popup roof, all solar and diesel powered. No fuel, no propane, a go anywhere, live anywhere vehicle. The big trucks? Well, I went, actually “we” went into the big one, granite counters, marble floor… weight is not an issue she said. Nice, a bit too big I think however for my own taste. Expensive Mercedes 4×4, Range Rovers, Land Rovers, Jeeps, Motorcycles and even a sidecar. Everyone was there represented and more.
I enjoyed listening to Lance Blair, it was a treat, below on the right, an incredible energetic man with a beautiful family which I also met, with no stopping on his tracks helping out the Disabled Explorers. What a great cause for the ones getting there to those magical spaces but suddenly unable to go on while using a regular wheel chair. So sad so much evolves around “money”. These are times I wish I would be a millionaire to only give it all away and see the smiles on the faces on the stranded disabled travelers. This Yahoo page has come and gone, it shocked me, a 3 million dollar I-Phone. How many of those $10,000 chairs would one buy? Something is very wrong. I had never met Lance, of course a great name, but as he saw me he shook my hand and told me that as a nurse on the night shift he reads our Journal throughout the quiet times. Amazing.
I had hug from Phil, Phil from “Expedition Awareness”. It was of an emotional encounter as his 7 months old Son is showing symptoms of ALD. My Heart was suddenly transported into his as also a reader of us I am one so too familiar with the shoes he has been fitted with. I will have a permanent Logo of his cause up soon and if you have a Blog yourself, as I have never asked such a favor within those past years, this is the “one time” I do, and strongly so. I know what he goes through, I know what his family encounters daily and his non stop passion and forwardness toward this cause besides his full time job is of an incredible one. He is a true Father as I know his Wife is a true Mother. We spoke often when he had a few minutes away from others also supporting him and for moments I could not even talk looking into his eyes, eyes of a reflection so too familiar within my own Life. A gold diamond studded $3 million I-Phone. I think I need so much to go and sit behind that boulder of mine that is awaiting as these reflections become tortures of Life.
Yes, great vehicles, great “all”, Overland Expo brought together for all of us to share, look, feel, want maybe, but much more than that, to me has been the “people” met. The ones without a cause understanding our own Journey and speaking about their own, understanding “living” on the road as to climb those human steps we should all thrive for and the ones present “with a cause” needing the help as their own reward will be themselves helping others in much need as my above “quote” says it, lets not end up our Life with regrets as we only have one.
The tent reminded me of “The Oasis”! It is also a Montana Canvas tent. Suddenly I felt as our Oasis was so far, so on the other side of the World, a bit imaginary as this here was more the real World even if so foreign to me for these past years or so. There were portable kitchens, there was cooking, there was no lack of food, specially the Sunday evening Buffet so graciously provided by Overland Expo. That was when I was hoping no one would look at my overfilled plate while rejoining Spirit who was starting to bark going through an anxiety attack while missing me and surrounded by 500 people.
And I forgot the name of “Old Faithfull’s” cousin! It belongs to Chris from Eurotech and was the first time also meeting him. He had helped me generously about 10 years ago for some parts and I had never forgotten about his kind gesture. I finally had a chance to thank him personally. Quite a rig as besides selling parts he is quite a fabricator. So this is how it all went. Much learning, exploring the vehicles but also many encounters that would have not happened if not present.
Enjoy and be well, always.
Ara & Spirit
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