“The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” ~ T.S. Elliot
I remember being at this exact spot last year. The nest is still here, a new bird maybe? I cannot tell. He is talking loud as his voice can be heard over the creek running just a few feet away from us. Could be a she? The road is not as good as it was, of a darker color, wet, today it smells of Earth, the most always pleasant smell. There is excitement, there is an inner path of joy while going up this road. Much more. We stop often as I want to savor every turn of the wheels. The skies have cotton balls floating freely, the sun is playing hide and seek as I am with the camera, Spirit is laying down taking in the warmth of the moment. He knows how to live. It is late however, we are turning around. For now.
It was a crazy morning. It took twice as long to pack out of the camper. We stopped at the Ranger’s station and I was talked out of camping at the crest of Gravelly Range Rd. Too many bears right now, Grizzlies, the roads have been very muddy and some have turned into an impossible access. I do not again possess a mandatory Bear proof canister and when I told her I use the trunk of the sidecar for that purpose, she asked me why I would want my sidecar destroyed. So we turned around, back to Teri’s Rusty Cowboy store and house and set up the tent by the pasture. She did not understand why we would not move back into the camper. I looked through her “stuff” displayed, it is as I had never seen it before as there is so much of it.
The simplicity of living in a tent has won me over and over. It is I have to admit not just any tent. This 4 season Hilleberg has ample room with one huge vestibule I can sit in using my Kermit chair, cook if needed. The other vestibule is just storage for then mostly the empty bags. What has been so convenient is the fact that the ground cloth, tent and fly always remains attached and all is put up or taken down in about 15 minutes. It still remains a tent and the easiness of it all is also for the fact that the rig always being near by, not everything needs to be unpacked unlike when we moved into the camper for a couple nights. Odd myself I feel being so comfortable living as such, less is more, more time for much else.
Tomorrow we are going back to the Gravelly Range Rd. The "Gravellies" as they call them here. It is National Forest. I was surprised camping was not permitted just about anywhere. Maybe again as in many other spaces I have witnessed, the land has been abused, trash and waste has been left behind. Will find out. It is not a popular area, some of the off shoots have been washed away and the main road itself is a bit of a maze. But the days are still long, my seven headlights work perfectly and getting lost even with my old GPS is never an issue.
Empty spaces. Amazing. I am reading “Dakota. A Spiritual Geography”. I am understanding and feeling every word of the Author. Kathleen Norris. I am not the only one. I am glad suddenly I am not the only one. The Desert helps me, as she writes, in a radical way of knowing exactly who, what, and where I am. Physically, mentally. All in defiance of the powerful forces of society encompassing alcohol, drugs, television, shopping malls and so much more. All that aim at us to make us forget the realities of the moments. Those moments which are all truly regardless of one might think at times, beautiful on their own “nows”. Bombarded incessantly. And I am learning through her words something new, something new and old, all at the same time, a concept that I have been thinking about, a theory trying to manage it. The book is only a coincidence that has fell into my Life as the many other non fiction books I read. And then again, I do not believe in coincidences. More Faith.
It is carrying my insight wherever I am, to stand at Peace and well balanced, could be even downtown New York, and yet feel and be as if I was still within that empty space. Distractions do not allow me when in contact, has not allowed me, to live in the present. There is no need for a strong discipline in the vast empty spaces as it is a necessity in an urban environment. It is as “them” or “I”. I cannot escape the cities daily. Let their wave create my discomfort has now not become an option. It is as being an Island in the Ocean, stand above the surf, the storms, stand above it all with the ability to spiritually remain balanced at all time. The practice of it I am finding hard as the urban space I find is so powerful, penetrating a shield yet soft hoping will with age and thoughts and practice become impenetrable allowing me to remain always on an even keel.
“Gravelly Range Road”… “The Gravellies”… it is not just a road anymore, it is a path of a Teaching of Life.
This is not “Ride Report”, it is just a “Personal Journal”.
Be well, always.
Ara & Spirit