Writing our book spanning 7 years on the road “Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash” has taken me to those past times when the future was uncertain. Yet, we still don’t know the day before that day. It is now only a matter of editing those past days we did make it through.
“No human relation gives one possession in another—every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone.”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~
Photos from a New Year’s Eve gathering.
I am sitting here next to Spirit, back from a New Year’s Eve gathering with friends, lounging under the sun so bright today, yet, with a welcomed coolness. Slowly the present is re-emerging from having spent much time on our past pages of a book which with many edits is cleaning up nicely and taking a life of its own. A few more weeks and its true birth will take place. For some unknown reasons, I cannot help looking at the months ahead. A crossroad is the image I am seeing. There is no sharpness beyond it, only the knowledge of an intersection on which the road signs have not yet been placed upon. It is truly such a mystery.
The spaces we have camped on are calling me back as I know I will experience them differently while they have been submitted to their own erosion as we also have. To the many travelers, changes are unseen. To the ones, such as us, who live on and off the roads, there has been transformations. I do know I am not the only one feeling as such after having had a few conversations with others who have chosen the same lifestyle as us.
Sadly enough, the present variation is our own safety and the one of our belongings. Society has changed over these years. The number of homeless has increased and amazingly they are mostly the drug addicts and alcoholics. Meth labs have popped up on National Forests, on BLM lands, on Native Indian reservations. I have seen them, we have stumbled upon them a few times. I have witnessed the white beat up Taurus driving around the 17 mile loop in Valley of the Gods stopping at a distant camper left behind for the day. They were not there to take photos, but to steal to sell to buy.
The knowledge of such a situation truly brings on a certain uncomfortable feeling. Will our gear still be there when we return that evening? What frame of mind is all of this going to create? This is not the first time being at a crossroad. Most have been mental more than anything else. This time around it is much being towards our free land creating such a junction. What could be the solutions? Campgrounds where a “Camp Host” would watch out for our “stuff”? We both dislike campgrounds with a passion and the fact is that nowadays because of rising costs and budget cuts, one host oversees many campsites making them subject to thievery.
Much has even changed here on “Terlingua Ranch”, “Big Bend flats” as we also call this area. While attending this New Year’s Eve get together, I had the chance to talk to some locals about the subject, ones that live here full time. As I do now, they also lock all their belongings when going to town for the day. Dogs have been poisoned with anti freeze not too far from here, others have been shot at, some dwellings have been broken in and if not, tried over and over. I keep thinking if I am making this up! I am not. It is reality. How sad is all of this? We are trying to protect ourselves from… each other. This cross road has slowly been creeping up into our lives. I wonder if I was unaware of it in years past having been fairly lucky or has changes actually has taken place? They have.
One path will be to discover spaces even more out of the way not quite reachable by many. And we will. Nothing will keep us off the roads once we are done here. I cannot allow such uncertainty trickle in into our lives. So, in the meantime, with great present weather these days as the clouds today themselves so unaware of such a dilemma while playing hide and seek, meaning short sleeve T-shirt throughout daylight hours, back to the keyboard for the second book edit in progress.
Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year,
Ara and Spirit