Of a beautiful loneliness, Highway 50. Nevada

Friday, June 18th, 2010

“ Don’t think that happiness will be possible only when conditions around you become perfect. Happiness lies in your own Heart “ ~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Highway 50  
Highway 50  

Great night sleep in a real King Size bed, long shower to the point of feeling guilty using much water and breakfast was served. A delicious omelet with mushrooms and an excellent cheese, a bowl of fresh fruit, the coffee was earlier. Spoiled, smile on my face I then discover a flat tire. Could have not happened in a better driveway. Took no time to change the rear tube as I always carry two spares of each and on the road again we were, the second day of a more than perfect weather. We headed west, I decided to leave the snow and mountains behind to confront 500 miles of lonely highway to Reno as we will then head north to pick up 36 west.

Highway 50  

The road wears out on us. It is not a tired feeling, it is of a busy mind, a pleasant filled soul wandering what will be around the next bend while savoring the present. It is moving onto a space we can finally rest our bones for a few days. And leave, and find it again. We are always at the mercy of Mother Nature. It dictates when and where. My Friend Brian might join us. He wanted to know the "when". I have no clue I replied. The “where” had the same answer. Our path has no calendar, only seasons, nights and days. Come to think of it "wearing me down" is not a state of mind expressed correctly. It keeps me on my toes, it is a constant state of awareness toward the road, the machine, Spirit, myself comes last and my thoughts only surface when all comes to a halt when we are stopped and secure for it’s time.

Highway  

Night time has arrived. I would have liked to spend a month on this actually not so lonely highway. But we are already about a hundred miles from Reno.  Highway 50 today was a tumbler set on high with too many quarters dropped in. We started with wind gusts of over 40 mph and not one second on our tail. No help. The first 100 or so miles blew hard sideways to the point of riding totally in the left lane using the offset road camber to compensate. Arm sore, neck feeling mangled up like one of those puppets on a spring, the wind switched head on, relentless swapping back and forth throughout it’s many cycles. Dry heat, icy cold air, wet buckets of rain and finally some snow on one of the many passes we conquered. Conquered to no exaggeration. I cannot remember the last time fourth gear and almost full throttle to descent an 8% downhill slope.

Highway 50  

What a day as dozens of roads right and left, unpaved and inviting passed us by every few miles, most of it BLM land, free for the taking with their promising destinations some as far back off the main road by 60 miles. Unlike us to ride on as we did, and yet, I was not going to have us freeze at such altitude in such weather. Did I enjoy the day? Every minute of it I did. We did. Spirit finally with his coat back on realized that laying down will keep him warmer. The stops at gas stations interesting enough brought people together, specially the ones such as us fighting to go west, specially the riders. We crossed a few going East and I don’t know if they were aware of their luck with the wind direction.

Highway 50  

Yes, about a month will do, maybe more, probably. So many places to camp, so much to explore, so much space to just be, spaces so vast it amazes me on how crowded cities can be when millions of acres lay here in the wild and solitaire. One cannot avoid realizing much throughout the miles when through the infinite vastness surrounding. I could not avoid going back inward, a spec of sand on this machine fighting the elements as Life itself being my own also tumbler. I have been thinking much about my last quote posted. Am I running away? What am I hoping for when I exit this next incoming bend on my own road?

Highway 50  

I have found my Buddy Spirit. We have in reality found each other. I have found the depth of Mother Nature and the respect due to her in even throughout her capricious moods. I have lost myself into almost daily zones in company of my camera, in company of ourselves, my senses have emerged stronger than ever, I have been able to create my own therapy for these often unbalanced days when the sunrise are only too close to also the awakening feelings of my loss. My past will never go away as it is not anymore, even if it was in past from an ignorance of a desire often wished to only numb what I could not grasp anymore. “What am doing?” I was thinking while hanging on to dear Life while rolling down the road pushed around in every which way but forward. Trying to “complete” myself as a Friend not too long ago used that word pertaining to our inner substance.

Highway 50  
Highway 50  

When the worse happens today, what an irony it is, as unlike many I can surmount that worse, as "the worse" has already happened and the fear of any else will no more ever be present. That thought never leaves me, ever. I can move mountains, I can be blunt and honest with my Friends as I always am, there are no passing through "GO". I am blunt with Life itself with no curtains in between us. I have no fear of fear as fear does not exists anymore. It vanished six years ago. I have found a freedom I know many seek and never find, a true freedom where nothing really matters and yet all that is of a true awareness “does” as it plays it’s existence today on this path of a road as bumpy as it could be.

Highway 50  

I am afraid that I have found suddenly a space comparable of another one of my outmost liking. We stopped in “Middlegate” for the night, a small community of 10 where camping is free and where the souls are kind and true in this “middle of nowhere”. My thoughts are spinning. My desire is to head back East and savor this land we just passed and it’s multitudes of branches from Delta to Black Rock, the Great Basin National Park, Cave Lake, Ward Mountain Recreation Area, Illipah Reservoir, Eureka, Stokes Castle, Hickison Petroglyph, Austin and so much more.

Highway 50  
Highway 50  

More later…

Be well, it is your choice after all, believe it or not!

Ara & Spirit

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6 Responses to “Of a beautiful loneliness, Highway 50. Nevada”

  1. J. Brandon Says:

    Ara-

    Welcome to Nevada. I think you have captured its essence. The desert is a dark and mysterious place. It frightens some people, and calls to others.

    travel safely,

    -J.

  2. Maureen Says:

    “I have found a freedom I know many seek and never find, a true freedom where nothing really matters and yet all that is of a true awareness “does” as it plays it’s existence today on this path of a road as bumpy as it could be.” Ara, what you said rings true. It really hit home. Welcome to a very special, quiet minority!

  3. Louise Says:

    Turn around, ride it again.

  4. parker Says:

    Why is it that the more vast and secluded the land is, the more active and adventursome our mind becomes?

    It happens to me all the time !! mp

  5. Nicole Espinosa Says:

    Ara,

    Your pain has made you raw, real and fearless. So many others have to dance and tippy toe over eggshells to save face and feelings. Toss that stuff out the window. It is a true blessing that you share with us such tumultuous raw emotion mixed with depth and substance. I feel like a voyeur to your soul, and I don’t apologize for “looking”.

    Always,
    Nicole

  6. Lyle Says:

    We were riding in the same wind, I think, when we were on our way to Moab, my son and I. It was very gusty, as if an invisible giant was trying to yank the helmet from my head. We only got half the gas mileage as usual and it was very tiring.

    Thanks for illuminating US-50 so well. “Loneliest Road” has always appealed to me– now even more so.

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