Some mental and physical back roads. Utah

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a Life around” 

Hite at Lake Powell  
Lake Powell  

In Moab with bad weather. Does not look promising either, cold, rain, it has put a damper from the past sunny days south of here. So ready to get out there as I know we will get to brave the elements soon if this lasts too long. Cabin fever syndrome sets in very quickly these days when the mind knows too well these should be all day times to explore new sites. Having done much north of Moab I noticed a few dirt roads south of here while arriving, going east and west near by red rock formations I always wanted to experience. They are mostly off the maps, some are gated, but as long as they say “please close gate”, it is to me meaning we can go in. Bluff is behind us, it was good, again we left with some unfinished roads to ride, all the way to the last evening when some locals told me about a space I had never heard of, they said just as beautiful as Valley of the Gods. It is only one hundred miles away, that distance will not keep my curiosity unsatisfied.

Lake Powell  
Lake Powell  

When we seeked shelter from Valley of the Gods this year we end up camping out at the “Cadillac Ranch RV and Campground” in Bluff. Those spaces are never quite my favorites, they are in an emergency an expensive proposition for the budget, a lack of privacy, but this was a totally a different experience. The setting is beautiful, a nice pond with the sites all along and around including some nice fire rings, ducks galore and some great clean and real showers. Lets not forget wi-fi in an area where signals are weak from just about any phone carrier. Again as always, it is the “people” that make the experience and Dianne and Tim made it for me and many others passing by or spending a few days. It became a bit like having a Family, a bit sad when some left and funny enough, some came right back the next day! Met a few riders also, some that knew about Spirit but had never heard of me as I told them that is just the way it should be.

Cadillac Camp  
Cadillac Camp Cadillac Camp
Cadilac Camp  

In the meantime my Friends KC and Mia from Lander, WY, and us, had determined a rendez vous point on Lake Powell, west on Highway 95, right before the bridge. We did keep the date being only about 12 hours late. I did find them at the end of White Canyon after riding to Hite Marina and part of Farley Canyon without much success. There they were however, up on a hill, no one around within miles and we spend all afternoon chatting as good Friends do. A quick late lunch and we all decided to go on to Bluff where we were camping as I had also offered to make dinner. KC and Mia move on as we do. There is no clock, sometimes no map either, only the understanding that we will meet in Bluff. They sidetracked to Muley Point, we stopped ourselves at the Moki Dugway look out again to chat with another lone rider. They caught up with us, we caught up with them, and eventually it was dinner time with a nice fire going and more chatting.

Lake Powell  
Lake Powell  

This is all a good time, this is the Journey as it goes surrounded by more incredible sights and dear Friends we have missed this past year. And yet, these past days an issue I have been made aware of has sombered the moments passed, an issue bottled up in me as with no answers because I just cannot go on thinking that “this is the way of the World”. I have been in touch with my Friend Phil, an incredible Father possessing all the rights to be on his personal quest to raise awareness for a cause saving Children with ALD. Of course I feel for him, would I want him to some day wear these shoes of mine I step with at times, drag at other times throughout these past years? He is doing well, he has actually done very well this past Saturday at a little gathering in a town near by him where he went and spend the day expressing his more than concern till he lost his voice.

Lake Powell  
Lake Powell  

My issue, in my honesty of expression, was the outcome of his presence at Overland Expo. A three day affair, a long way for him which included many tanks of fuel to get there and back, 300 hundred T Shirts and hats, and all around the field surrounding him, present where the most expensive toys one can imagine for any kind of off-road expedition, around the World, in our country, chrome wheels and chrome fuel tanks, marble floors and granite counters, it was all there and a few thousands of people. He sold… 3 T shirts, one T Shirt per day… I don’t have an answer for that fact. Or maybe I do, but it’s ugliness is not of the kind I like talking about. On Sunday night the Banquet dinner took place. There was an auction with many tickets sold at a $500 each. But this was for another cause. This was also to save another endangered specie. Unfortunately it was not to be of the Human kind, but jaguars on a small farm not even in our Country but in Mexico. A more than valid cause and yet, I see causes even if they are today a “fashion statement”, as a matter of priorities and my Heart dropped when thousands were raised without a single mention of Expedition Awareness.

Moky Dugway  
Moky Dugway  

What happened? What is wrong with that picture? How much harder can a Father be slapped on his face from such insensitivity as that is the only thought I have. I know that “care” has not disappeared in this World, it cannot be, and I also know that this was a blow hard enough to let anyone down without a chance to get back up. 3 T shirts! But the jaguars I hope will be saved and the donors will be able to go and spend a few night in this farm away from our country and be fed and drunk with the best Tacos and Tequila “that” region can offer for their stay of 3 nights included in their $500 ticket… This is all so sad. Phil did very well however as mentioned this past Saturday. He has some incredible touching stories about that day, they are truly worth taking the time to read them. That is all for today. Do I feel better writing about it all? Yes I do… I do as everything else I have written in the past over 500 Chapters. This was a big one, I cannot let bottled up the knowledge of such a horrific, in my book, experience.

Moky Dugway  

All this truly is only a matter of principle, conscience, respect, care, Heart, giving… Phil and his cause will be just fine. You will find out why when reading his own latest entry.      

Ara & Spirit

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4 Responses to “Some mental and physical back roads. Utah”

  1. Ken and Nanette Says:

    I don’t know how you do it but your eye for pictures is amazing.

    To come and read your postings is a very refreshing thing to do with all that the world throws at us all on a daily basis.

    As I am sure you have been told many times you have a gift for bringing about thought and contemplation by your words.

    While you possess a remarkable gift perhaps the greatest gift is that you share it with us!

    Thank you!

    Ken and Nanette

  2. Phil Golden Says:

    Ara, thank you for your caring words of support for this, our struggle to find a way to rid the world of such a terrible monster.

    In working with the ALD Foundation so closely, I can say that hope is alive. REAL HOPE. In educating parents for early detection of the disease coupled with the work to provide awareness to an exciting new treatment option gives parents a reason to hold our heads up high and catapult ourselves toward answers.

    The path is still covered, nearly impossible to discern, but it is there Ara. My goal is to take a sling blade to this path clearing the heavy foliage and undergrowth making it easier for the next family. And in doing so, hopefully etch out a place for my son’s life to be spared. It is this determination that keeps my head above water, if only enough to breath. But with breath comes life and justly so, without breath life leaves.

    We must breath. I must keep going. What I have come to learn is no matter what I do, it will never be enough if only in my own eyes – my true measure is held deep within me. Balancing this delicate set of emotions somewhere between cause and effect, reality and fiction, acceptance and denial is the nail in my palm, the spear in my side and my very own crown of thorns all prepped for self crucification. If I let the actions of others dictate my path forward, I will surely find my end.

    Thank you for your continued thoughts and support. I look forward to our next meeting.

    Till then, ride safe and enjoy your journey with Spirit.
    Phil

  3. Andre Shoumatoff Says:

    Hi Ara,
    Thanks for the wonderful post and it is sad. Say hi to KC and Mia for me. It is nice to see his super charged T100 back in the pictures. I am meeting Curtis in the morning to look at his old camper and maybe give it a tune up, I mentioned your picture and forgot to write you back about it… I am also now lusting after a KTM of some sort of just any old dual sport that will do the job — fyi! I guess I have the motorcycle bug now… 🙂

    Andre

  4. Allan Bool Says:

    Greetings Ara and Spirit,
    thanks for taking the time to keep us up with your thoughts and feelings as you go through the country, they are always enlightening, sometimes funny and occasionally serious. This last “Blog” about your friend Phil and his varying fortunes was a good one. Thanks for putting your feelings into words for all to read and thanks for the pointer to his site and blog, too. Fantastic stories from his stand at another venue, where people appreciated what he was trying to do. It is great to hear stories of our younger generations showing up many of a generation that should know better. Those youngsters are our proof that the human race will survive, no matter how badly we have done 🙂

    Take care.
    Allan

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