A bit North of here… TX

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu ~

#118-2

I always liked that quote as also the path of the mental growth always has this unknown destination, those mile markers one reaches and yet another one reappears as rapidly when arriving near by the one of the present moment. It is endless as each little or sometimes longer Journeys to the next one is always a bit so distinctly unique. Smooth sailing or stormy, the choice is too often out of our hands as the mind more powerful than ever conducts it’s own behavior we can only try to curtail and meditate upon it when the emotions become too strong. Too much awareness I often think, too often too close to a reality I ride on, a reality maybe I just want to get off at times from it’s saddle bouncing a bit too hard for my taste. Too complex, too deep of a meaning when I only want and try to keep Life as simple as possible.

Ft Davis Observatory-17

Those are the times the path carved demands the physical aspect of it to get on the road and ride and more “ride” as the miles unravel with the hope that I will never arrive within any destination as by then I become aware that such roads indeed never stop always leading to another one, and another one and on and on. Physical, mental, how many more parallels can Life provide? I feel a bit as a sitting duck right now, the uphill ascent toward my body healing is so slow, what I need to do in one day is taking two days or more and yet I am also aware that this good weather present is not as such a bit further away in any directions. It has actually been hot here, so hot that yesterday I decided we shall go a bit north and see what happens when crossing the 200 miles ride for the day margin which was only 100 miles a few days ago. I wondered at the time what the physical price was going to be. I am not as inquisitive today. I am paying for it a bit too dearly. 

Ft Davis Observatory

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It was however all worth it, even Spirit was excited all day as I can always tell when he looks around right and left, fast paced, as the miles unravel and maybe the good smells are appearing and disappearing all at the same time a bit too fast. We have been riding the black top, we both prefer the slower pace of the dirt roads which I am still trying to avoid. As usual we stopped in Ft Davis to visit our Friends “Jerry” and “Nelda”, owner of the “Nelda Coffee Shop” and their Bookstore. Great food, always homemade, better yet, it is the atmosphere they both create. One is never alone as when entering, Jerry right away is the master of introductions and the beginning of ensuing chatting. We sat in the courtyard, Spirit happy in the shade and myself content listening to the latest gossip while we tried to solve the World’s problems, at least face them as I need to also while I never keep up much with what is going on, specially the price of fuel I understand ready to reach the highest mark ever. That was not good news.

Ft Davis Observatory-6

Ft Davis Observatory-4

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A bit further up we then reached the Mc Donald Observatory, always a nice twisty road as suddenly the silver dome appears. The Hobby-Ederly is the new one, we were here a few years ago and while I entered the visitors entrance, Jerry Martin, an “Optical Mechanical Technician” recognized us from our previous visit. He probably recognized Spirit I have no doubt. He let us enter the premises as before for a close up and personal tour of this 70 million dollar toy. With its 9.2-meter (433-inch) mirror, the HET is one of the world’s largest optical telescopes. It is optimized for spectroscopy, the decoding of light from stars and galaxies to study their properties. This makes it ideal for searching for planets around other stars, and studying distant galaxies, exploding stars, black holes, and more. I was just reading about it when I found this:

“Astronomers led by Karl Gebhardt of The University of Texas at Austin have measured the most massive known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood by combining data from a giant telescope in Hawai’i and a smaller telescope in Texas. The result is an ironclad mass of 6.6 billion Suns for the black hole in the giant elliptical galaxy M87. This enormous mass is the largest ever measured for a black hole using a direct technique. Given its massive size, M87 is the best candidate for future studies to actually "see" a black hole for the first time, rather than relying on indirect evidence of their existence as astronomers have for decades.”

Ft Davis Observatory-9

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Ft Davis Observatory-20 Ft Davis Observatory-18

How insignificant can we be?… and yet “significant” we so much are! Mirror… Mirror… It is almost as an uncomfortable train of thoughts, maybe a bit intimidating, even chilling. We left the beautiful facilities and started heading back the same way we came trying to time the Sunset while still on the roads back to “The Oasis”. Texas must have the most appealing rest areas of the country, picnic areas. We stopped at my favorite one adorned by the natural rocks forming as a small mini canyon for us to get some shade, grab a bite to eat again, quenching Spirit’s and mine thirst. If it had not been on the road, what a great camping spot this would have been. We pulled into my dirt road just as the Sun was setting… Sore but happy, already thinking about the next ride… and the next ride…

Ft Davis Observatory-15

Ft Davis Observatory-14

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rest area

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#118

Ara & Spirit

Be Safe and well
Peace, Love, Courage

ulisse081000056

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5 Responses to “A bit North of here… TX”

  1. Queenie Says:

    Oh, I know that rest stop well – have had some memorable experiences there, including seeing a Tarantula Wasp spy her victim, (hapless Tarantula), stalk it, sting it, and then drag it into her nest. Some Walt Disney nature moment. And it’s close to that big bunch of boulders that I’ve always heard called the Rock Pile, where you can climb up and get a great view all around.

    Bon Voyage, and see you on the road somewhere……

  2. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara, Yet another beautiful post on a new (to me) subject, all the while revealing new beauty in Texas. Also new since I’ve been following your blog – patience with yourself and taking your recovery a few steps at a time. We do not have to look very far for the reason, though! Thanks for sharing a beautiful, fascinating journey.
    Safe rides always to you and Spirit,
    Pam

  3. Louise Says:

    The picnic areas around MacDonald Observatory are among our favorites. We’ve spent some very nice, quiet, dark nights there in “Odyssey.” Our friends Sam and Tracy of ZenNomads were just there, too. Perhaps you passed them on the road. They have a Kawasaki Voyager on the back of their RV and two lovely dogs.

    Dogs, bikes, RVs…lots in common!

  4. dogwalker Says:

    You inspire the travelling soul for many people. Thank you for your postings. Dogwalker

  5. Carol Says:

    We have been to that rest stop! We stayed in fort Davis for about a week at McMillan’s in the Highlands and checked out the State Park, McDonald Observatory, the Old Fort and the town. Nice place. Loved the Star Party at the Observatory one night. Glad you are riding farther afield, but don’t overdo things, dearie!

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