The Big Picture, Overland Expo 11. AZ

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

“We said our goodbyes, pledged that we would find each other in another Life if it were possible and pledged a love that would never die between us.  Once the morphine drip started that day, he was pretty much out of it.  His nephew, Cornell, found some BMW races on his I Pad and put his headphones on Bill so he could hear it.  I was holding his hand and I felt it tighten around my fingers and he twisted his wrist like he was giving it the throttle.  What a very precious moment that said it all.  I only hope that where ever his spirit is, that the wind is blowing through his hair as he rides as fast as he can.” ~ Kammie ~ [my Dear Friend Bill’s Wife]

OX 11-79

Sometimes the ingredients of Life themselves seem to be borrowed from a recipe only too familiar, yet never dished out in the fashion we might imagine. It is Sunday night, it is late, I am exhausted as the fumes of these past days gears sometimes overheated have emerged, the thoughts are here, they are profoundly encased, there is much overflowing. Overland Expo as a personal stage was a success, it was for everyone present. There are no words I can add or are needed within this part of the above e mail I received from Kammie. Bill has been with me for these past days as he will also remain for the days to come as Lance also always does, and yes, as the winds picked up the last couple of days, his hair was blowing as it always has, a silent banner through the present then moments.

OX 11-70

The World did not stop spinning as I had hoped, if only it was for a moment. What bad timing it would have been while the crowds started gathering for the third year of this what is becoming a major event “Overland Expo”. I gathered up my strength, my patience and every power needed to sail through those past days. I had a cooking class to give daily, it had been rehearsed a couple times, it was my turn to give back and as many said afterwards “open a door to the knowledge that now I can cook with no reservations” a meal quickly put together while tasting and looking as it came from the finest kitchen improbable to find while within the wombs of Mother Nature.

OX 11-23

OX 11-56

The unforeseen realization of so many Friends present suddenly turned the tables around for me. Every few feet a new handshake, often a hug, some names forgotten, some faces vaguely familiar slowly coming into focus, some new Friends never met before only through this space called “the Internet”, the reality of it all really being all about as I always say “Spirit”. It is a joke I always pronounce, the fact that no one ever asks to take a photo of us… it is always “the Dog”. Truly, joke or not, it makes me happy as this soul mate of mine deserves it all. The toys, two wheeled, four wheeled and more, were as usual of many, endless array of any vehicle one could imagine while traveling the unpaved roads. The exhibitors with all the options present, many World and local travelers also featured and it will take me a few entries to post all the photos. From the giant rigs, to the smaller ones and more agile, motorcycles and I think even a couple bicyclists.

OX 11-72

OX 11-106

OX 11-101

OX 11-132

There are many stories remembered I will write about, many other travelers with whom I have shared thoughts and routes, concerns and solutions often. My main remembrances however will be the classes given every day, each starting at 11am meaning lucky enough to have the next window starting at noon open as being lunch time for everyone. The 50 minutes classes turned into one and a half hour. “Traveling without refrigeration” was the first subject, a short one as it mainly involves common sense, a cooler even if no ice is needed and the constant attention that such cooler remains in the shade. Hand in hand the “one pan cooking” was the main focus, the object being not so much to follow a recipe but to learn the logistics of it all, the ability and the know how to cook first what takes the longest.

OX 11-61

I was very fortunate to have Harald from “Kanz Outdoors” loan me one of his “field kitchens” as my MSR Dragon camp stove would have been too loud and too small for a crowd of 40+ and two separate dishes. My “Gear Pods” did a flawless job carrying my dry ingredients, all my prepped slicing and dicing helped get it all accomplished with much explanation in about 40 minutes and the rest of the time was spend answering questions and chatting, not necessarily about cooking, it was spend by everyone tasting the plates present. I will post the recipes next time even if the idea of it all is to use the process as a template using what is available on the side of the road and at the local small village market.

OX 11-57 OX 11-60

 OX 11-20

"I have had a great deal of interest in my photography over the years, for which I am grateful. Their sales are of much importance funding this Journal. Yes, please feel free to purchase one or two… or a few. I have been adding some photos lately, there will be more as I sift through about 100,000 of them. My “Zen Gallery” is an easy one to navigate on. Take a look. For merchandise also “Smugmug” stands for quality. For contributions to defer the always rising Internet costs please use the toolbar above.”

Ara & Spirit

Be Safe and well
Peace, Love, Courage

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2 Responses to “The Big Picture, Overland Expo 11. AZ”

  1. Queenie Says:

    Good for you, Ara. I can well imagine how overwhelming those days were. It is a blazing trip to go from the isolation and solitude on the road, or in long camp, and then be the focus of the spotlight and treated, I’m thinking, like a Road Warrior RockStar. Which, whether you think you resemble it or not, you surely are. What you do is courageous and adventuresome, and a life totally unimagined by so many. Besides just the doing of the moving about part, you offer up exquisite comment and wonderful images, and poke the sensibilities of so many. The plates are beautiful, as is the Spirit behind them, and that is the You spirit, not to mention its symbol, Spirit the Wonder Dog. What a life you have crafted, now being rewarded, I’d say, even as the spotlight is blinding. And you’ve been gifted partnership when such things were undefinable till realized. Quite a journey, Chef Ara. Quite a journey. Travel safely on, in health and wonder.

  2. Suzanne Says:

    Queenie said it very well. In other words, “Life is a trip!”

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