Open Mind and “Closed Canyon”, TX

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Paragraphs of Daily Thoughts, some Mental Therapy and some reviews of our “well seasoned” Gear, published Weekly or so.

Backyard-2 xxx

Nine Points-3 xxx

"The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision."

~ Anais Nin ~  Written in… 1946!

Nine Points xxx

A Rooted Friend

Friends come and go and love grows, grows, and grows.
True friends are trees with falling leaves in autumn floating away.
Rooted to the ground they stay
Making their friends feel special by day.
In need they are there
In happiness they are there
And in friendship they are there to stay
In life they are here forever
~ Ash Walker ~

Map xxx

Closed Canyon xxx

14 degrees this morning even though the Sun is shining with only a few puffs of white to gray clouds on the horizon. From rains past the grounds have not yet dried out and all is frozen every morning as "crunch, crunch…" it feels under my steps and it’s vibrations while Spirit is his usual clown. It is the morning waiting game wanting to welcome a bit of warmth and all turning to mud. That is the reason we are in the South even though a winter up North is always attracting my thoughts more for an unusual landscape than anything else as I know, well geared, the comfort zone would never be the same. 

Closed Canyon-3 xxx

Closed Canyon-5 xxx

Changing tires, oil? Mounting a new outlet to keep up with the abundance of more electronics needing to be connected with power? Not right now. I have to think ahead and plan such tasks around the weather’s forecast. That even includes a shower, moving water after it thaws out. All requires warmth and a bit of planning which has become second nature. Right now are a bit of conflicting times maybe, a spinning of the wheels effect as I cannot help wanting to be there when we are here as I know right now so well if we are there we will want to be here, the only time of the Year we can be. Scenery, new spaces. All has to wait a bit while the mental package is being wrapped up, maybe even with a bow. Live the moment… Live the moment… Sometimes easier said than done when the gypsy blood flows with no halt.

Closed Canyon-6 xxx

Closed Canyon-8 xxx

I have been thinking a lot about our Friendships lately specially after taking the decision to not attend Overland Expo which I will always continue to support as it is a great venue, but not for us, not right now, not this year. Same with Magazine writing, interviews [???], the overcrowding of a Social Media aspect that if I can use the expression "sucked the Life out of me". For lack of better words. The volume of e mails has diminished leaving the meaningful ones come through allowing time to reply. Some "Friends" have vanished, rubbing elbows for some benefits has stopped and as pillars on our path the true ones remain not wanting anything from us but pure and unadulterated Friendship. Such so well received, such so much making sense unveiling some past aspects no more welcomed.

Closed Canyon-12 xxx

Closed Canyon-13 xxx

Closed Canyon-9 xx

I feel lighter throughout it all, this process which took time to separate ourselves from and digging in deeper into our own Life and positive relationships. There is a sense of Freedom that has descended which has taken me back to almost Day One when we lived for ourselves without the confrontation of demands which slowly emerged, which at the time had this attraction gleaming yet fading away turning more into a dull aspect than anything else. "It’s all Good" as Lance always said. I can smile when I hear those words again and again. They were pronounced with such honesty, almost from a naive stand point Youth would have. 

Closed Canyon-14 xxx

Closed Canyon-23 xxx

Closed Canyon-22 xxx

It is as another circle in this Life of ours which has taken it’s course slowly closed meeting it’s beginning, encircling a better well being. Nothing is without effort applying all the lessons learned, digested, kept in files readily available as instincts also guides the path. Order again is happening these days, an order bringing out much calmness. 

Closed Canyon-19 xxx

Closed Canyon-24 xxx

Finally today the cold front has moved on and it is that time for those tires, for that maintenance that keeps us going. We might even go for a hike today or tomorrow, "Closed Canyon" is calling me. We have not moved in days and I am getting a bit antsy. The dosage of sunshine and that feel good outside has suddenly increased and is so welcomed, so much so I don’t know what to do! What direction to go. Should I do this or that? Trying to avoid the deep mud leading to the fire rings I end up cooking a whole chicken in the Dutch Oven. Again. Our last chicken! The wood for the coals was wet, it took a while for the fire to catch on and half way through the cooking I wanted to go for a ride. 

Backyard riding… many miles to explore.


Past days in the Egyptian Deserts while staying with my Grand Parents who lived in Cairo, as us Armenians are scattered all around the World, suddenly came back to mind. I remembered spending days with the Bedouins on the sand dunes while they were hunting for Gazelles. The images of their cooking came back to mind. Dig a big hole, line it up with bricks and when the fire died as the bricks where nice and hot, wrap the skinned gazelle, drop it in, cover it and let it be for a day and a night. My coals were dying and we left to roam the neighborhood. We came back hours later as I knew no wildlife could remove the cast iron lid. The chicken just as the gazelles had cooked ever so slowly and end up being the best tasting since those past days.

Closed Canyon-25 xxx

Closed Canyon-30 xxx

Closed Canyon-33 xxx

Closed Canyon-34 xxx

Little pleasures of Life I thought. I used it’s juices to also make me a nice rice pilaf as they also did and suddenly beyond it all, beyond this physical aspect I realized the parallel of my own desires and ways of Life. Bedouins I always had an attraction toward them with their moving little villages and their no care attitude. The Gypsies I have met in Europe in a more urban environment yet also as moving tribes self contained and independent from their surroundings. I realized so much that today that is exactly the Lifestyle I have embraced. We are not homeless. We have no walls but we have a Home vaster and freer than most as even the horizon cannot stop us from our wanderings. 

Closed Canyon-35 xxx 

Closed Canyon-36 xxx

Closed Canyon-28 xxx

Closed Canyon-37 xxx

We did the ride, we did the hike with a Friend of ours, “Michael”, which we had not seen for eternity. Michael is the one with whom we had our Epic ride to Toroweap getting stuck because of weather and each with a mechanical failure on the side of the muddy road for a couple nights. The best times we have had with the greatest memories from two riders feeling comfortable going and getting back from a destination together. “Closed Canyon” was a Gift as we had never hiked it while water pools were at a stand still because of the major rains we had. Magical…

Closed Canyon-27 xxx

“GEAR PODS”… “All about our gear”

Gear Pods-2 xxx

Gear Pods-3 xxx

So when I first saw these canisters, found out they were weatherproof from any moisture and built solid to take abuse, the thought of continuing using Ziploc bags went out the door. I cook all my meals as we travel without refrigeration and carry much rice, cracked wheat, couscous, quinoa, oatmeal for breakfast [or dinner!], a few spices and this I started thinking has been one of the best inventions since sliced bread as they say. Right now, just like my MSR bottles containing cooking fuel and engine oil, I am trying to devise some mounts as to not carry them in a bag. I know they will withstand any weather and the lids will stay tight throughout the riding vibrations and commotions.

Grapevine Hills Rd-52 xxx

Grapevine Hills Rd-53 xxx

Grapevine Hills Rd-54 xxx

Grapevine Hills Rd-55 xxx

Since the birth of the basic GEAR PODS, James has designed a little alcohol stove which I use for my morning coffee and soups. First Aid kit, survival kit, fire starter kit, knives, shelter and signaling/navigation kit, writing kit and so much more all fitting in those GEAR PODS. I don’t think there is an end to his realizations for helping living safely in the outdoors. One more item we now could not do without. Simple thoughts, practical and effective.

More Photos on Smugmug Galleries. Prints, downloads, cards.

2013 Calendars are still available through Lulu in 2 designs. LuLu Journal

Sunset-6 xxx

Sunset-9 xxx

And from an unknown Author…

"One of the most important things in the life of any person is their relationships. Humans are relational animals. If anyone calls into question that statement they have but to look at all of the emotions, or states of being, that humans have. Love, hate, jealousy, spite, envy, malice, greed, compassion and so on. All of these emotions are meaningless to speak of unless at least two people are involved."

Stay well, always.
                           Ara and Spirit

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10 Responses to “Open Mind and “Closed Canyon”, TX”

  1. Jim Clement Says:

    Really enjoying your gear reviews! Glad to see you and Spirit are well. Been really slow answering (personal) e-mail these past two to three months. Time to effect a change! January is normally the hardest month of the year for me, and has been since 1994.

    Will e-mail soon.

  2. Doug smith Says:

    Fantastic “Canyon Country” there!
    Makes me want to get off my lazy behind and go hiking in the desert.
    Rode a Ural into the Gila Mountains a couple Winters ago and investigated a WW2 B-17 Crash Site up in the mountains.
    Death Valley this winter?….not sure yet.

  3. The Desert Scruff Says:

    I’m enjoying your gear reviews and have always enjoyed watching you create a life.

  4. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You. I like sharing this way what works and does not! Wondering if Life is creating “me”?

  5. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Yes, get off! We did Death Valley last winter. It was good open weather window and took advantage of it. Great time to be there. For us right now fuel is the key! So we will roam around here. Not a bad space, is it?

  6. Jeff & Sandra Says:

    Still checking in with you and Spirit now and then. Folly is gone. I sold her as I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with a Dodge 440 motor issue she was having and it was getting almost impossible to find parts (1974 Travco). New owner has a website to address same and last I heard about 50 Dodge gear heads still haven’t figured it out. Now traveling in a “new” 03 Sightseer affectionately named CC. In Port Charlotte now not too far from your old stompin’ grounds around Ft. Myers. Wishing you the best of all possibilities…..take good care!

  7. heyduke50 Says:

    great canyon shots with “water” nonetheless… adds an entirely different aspect to that part of the world.

  8. Ara & Spirit Says:

    You guys need to come West… Open lands, much to see. Hope your new vehicle carries you well. Thanks for staying in touch. Ara and Spirit

  9. Ara & Spirit Says:

    It was a nice surprise to see the pools of water, till we could not go any further unless swam! Ara and Spirit

  10. greg Says:

    I was thinking about you today. It has been a while since I dropped you a line but do visit your website often. I hope to see you in the spring. Stay well my friend

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