“There’s something about the Desert that doesn’t like man, something that mocks his nesting instincts and makes his constructions look feeble and temporary. Yet it’s just that inhospitableness that endears the arid rockiness, the places pointy and poisonous, to men looking for it’s discipline.”
“Blue Highways” [William Least Heat-Moon]
Overpowering substance within my own layers of contemplation throughout this convergence aimed at all my senses, Death Valley procures with no rest or even a slight breath cooling us off inside out. Voiceless and wordless have been the moments that have found us on the trails, paved and unpaved and all in between, all is here for every taste and if none, it will give you “the taste”. We rode much these past few days, a bit more than we in normal circumstances do. The distances are great and so are the uphills and the downhills leading to the many points through the passes and the valleys all so too interesting to discover.
I quickly learned the code to maintain a comfort level throughout these times. The dress code that is while hitting 100 degrees at 0 elevation or less and near freezing temperatures at around 5000 feet and more, all while moving on, could be on the hour, is seemingly every few miles. Dress up and dress down too often unless choosing the elevation and maintaining a camp, residing within it’s vicinity, a situation which has not yet happened. “Panamint Springs” is where we camped initially for a couple nights, it is where while talking to the owner’s son I realized the above conclusion. I was asking “what is the best time of the year to be in Death Valley?”. Besides not being here while the passes are closed from the snow, there is truly no such thing. Hot and cold and all in between is the reality of the stay.
I keep thinking the Ghost Towns have been my favorites, then on the “Titus Canyon” ride we did yesterday comes to mind, and on again just plainly riding the curves, the passes, all… I forget “Alabama Hills” near by “Lone Pine” where so many movies have been made. I want to camp there also. My memory had almost dismissed Darwin, Gold Point. Have we really already been there? Yet, so much is left to felt. The remembrances are passing through as a bright vision always incessant toward my inner needs “to be”. There are no more “finest” of this space so vast, they all are, there is only the need to curb my enthusiasm and pace myself as we always have done and as we will again, sometimes with greatest effort to not have unseen what I am facing.
Death Valley, massive, raw, graceful and gentle, coarse, crude, refined and unrefined all on one stage within a balancing act constant throughout the miles ridden, the photos taken, the rest given ourselves to ponder as it’s close similarity to Life sharing the same attributes and adjectives. Ah! Mother Nature, how I bow to you, how I look up to your creativity surrounding us today. As my fill overflows in constant stupor thinking so naively nothing could ever surpass the past, today we climb above the near past steps of this ladder on this path chosen only just a few years ago. I was going to move toward Utah as suddenly from outside my own walls, through those windows always open to thoughts shining in, I realized the substance of the presence when a simple word made it’s way in “why?”.
We shall lay down our being amongst this artistry as my fascination cannot bring myself to yet leave. These past days have been as this giant “menu” rolling by me only grabbing with too much of short bursts what I want to more deeply experience a few days at the time or more. We shall set roots down on each of those spaces even if so shallow compared to the centuries present. Due is the incredible quality of it all preceding the quantity too vast here to savor with only a short visit. History, geology, observance, all feelings emanating from these soils, all has me tied with a heart filled in anticipation.
I am here today resting, we both are. I am also there today, miles away from an urban space I needed to escape and yet, blossoming like a flower blooming in this Desert, my Partner in Life is awaiting for us, herself refining from her own medicine of Life we both need. We are both the luckiest people in the World as we often say it to each other thinking and feeling it regardless of any physical distance present. The connection can stretch but the ties channeled are always so present. We are two, we are one, we always are. We are connected. Thank you “Robin” for understanding my almost constant needs on this path chosen to for us maintain a much needed “Balance of Life” as I also understand your own.
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Ara & Spirit
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