Archive for April, 2014

Tasting Valley of the Gods, Utah

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

“If only they knew that magic was created through the force of will, not by wishful thinking. Pride will walk you through the tunnels of soul. This is where the great sea of mountains stretched out toward the horizon. A whisper of wind tried to stir itself, then gave up and settles back to Earth”
~ Creative Spirit ~

“Sitting, Riding and… Leaning”. Video shot in the Georgia Mountains.

Some spaces do not stop initiating a constant desire to be there and re-experience their offerings generously laid out. Valley of the Gods is one of those which we actually missed coming to last year. We did go by, but between my sciatica and the creek being flooded running fast, we could not get in. The pull is strong. We are not there yet. It is still 1,200 miles away and our route will be as straight as possible. There are times I have not yet learned to decipher the landscapes which take us to our destination. More so, it is a matter of weather. Summer is right around the corner, this is the best time for Southern Utah besides of course in the fall. There is no hesitation even with Georgia still on my mind. I feel as we have touched base with a past which has not much changed, if any. None has moved me to the point where I would or could contemplate staying. We enjoyed the moments and spending days with many friends, yet, at the same time coming back West was a must.

Campsite-4 xxx

I previously called our journey as a circle closing. I now realize it was only a physical one. The mental one, lucky us to be riding its line, will never close. It is the drawing of Life itself in its daily contemplations trying to constantly secure a certain balance some of us thrive to maintain. Those scales must not tip today. It is Easter day, still on the road, now only about 300 miles away. Last Easter was the last time I spoke with my Mother. I can still hear the conversation that Sunday morning, her sweet voice. It was the day before that day. It gives some thoughts about our fragility, our must to live every day, hours, moments, in the now as if our last ones. There is now an emptiness added, yet we have to plow and make the best of it, parts of this Life becoming more memories added to the past ones. The file is getting thick. Lance, my best Friend Bill, my Mother, all added to more family and friends present in the past and now gone.

Campsite-10 xxx

And here we are. Spirit and I remaining, lifting the dust which rests on the roads taken. So much for sure has changed as I feel having had so many different lives throughout my 65 years while jumping from one stage to another, always trying my best to embrace the plays awaiting, the new book cover which need to be open to page one a bit stiff at first. Awareness is nice to have I realize, regardless if it brings on valleys as the peaks are also attained. They both go hand in hand. There is no escaping and no sense for regrets. What is done is done and we can only plant ourselves strongly in the moments passing by. What a Life! This is not what youth had projected.

Campsite-12 xxx

We even get great visitors!

We have arrived. As we approached the left turn downhill which crosses the creek, I admit that my heart was pounding hard. Easily passable this time around I had to keep my eyes on the road but I could not believe we were actually here and had entered. The stage is magic. It is to me. Lucky us again, our favorite site off the road was not taken. Even Spirit had a smile. There is actually no one here on this 17 mile loop. This is the first time in months we are re-entering what I call the "zone". Timeless. There was a calendar at The Oasis while writing our book, same while en route to Pensacola and Georgia. There was a rush to come back as I could taste this space. And now again, nothing. The nights and days will start blending in governed by Mother Nature and its weather. Always the weather.

Campsite-13 xxx


                                                                        And more welcomed friends!

I feel as we have just crossed the finish line of a double marathon. I spent all afternoon sitting and reading what I call a brainless book. One of those that occupies my few minutes before going to sleep. I felt decadent wasting my time! I think I will plunge back in this French book called translated "Just about nothing on just about everything". One of those mind puzzling read. Spirit and I watched our first Sunset, the horizon filled with delicate silhouettes. They will be our props for the coming days.

Campsite-6 xxx

I woke up this morning as more silence was heard. For just a few seconds I forgot where we were. I then heard a plane go by and went out to find it. A couple clouds, the sun still hiding behind the butte, I saw it leaving a trace quickly moving on. It could just be me but the planes passing by always amaze me. I can’t help thinking about the 300 people or so above sitting tight and moving on while us standing still watching them. A little flying tin can of humanity, some passengers probably afraid of a crash, some munching stale peanuts, others longing for a cigarette. Most with thoughts of relatives, spouses or friends recently visited or waiting at airport terminals ahead. I still see flying as an odd concept. Astronauts even more! And now I think we will just rest, read, cook, play and watch both the Moon and the Sun go by while racing each other.

Valley of the Gods-2 xxx

We have taken roots quickly on this first day. A habit of ours generated by much experience. A few tourists drove by a bit quickly. I sensed their " I am lost" feelings. One stopped and asked for directions. It is a 17 mile loop, one cannot get lost. They were both nervous. It reminded me of the book called "Desert Solitaire" [a must read if you have not] by Edward Abbey who was one of the first Park Rangers in Arches, Moab. His written pages went though my mind with a smile on my face. Over the years he witnessed the Park’s facilities being built. One being "loops" taking the fear away from the tourists. The loop starts with a nicely paved parking lot with also nice straight painted white lines. Generally a Pepsi and candy vending machines. Some even have a gift shop for hats and T shirts. Maps also, but who needs a map when there are loops. They drive the loop safely knowing too well it will take them on the adventure called "coming back where we started". Safe, and if they did not buy that hat or T shirt at the start they will then. Loops! The greatest invention in National Parks. I forgot to mention they also generally leave in packs. Safer that way…and try to also park in packs at the various stop overs offering ample parking with again their nice and straight white lines. Life for many are filled with such adventures. Of course if we were riding in China I might also, to be fair, enjoy the loops. Maybe.

Valley of the Gods xxx

We left early this morning towards Mexican Hat’s Post Office. I had to mail a physical proofed copy of the book in its final format. Will have to wait now another ten days for the corrected proof to return and again my gracious Editor and I will read it comparing copies to make sure such corrections have indeed been made. It will be then printed. Only a couple copies to one more time proof it. That will be the finish line of these interminable months and hours spent on those pages. It was quite a sensation to finally see it and hold it in its formatted version. 216 pages. I was able to detach myself from being the writer and read it as it would be a book I have purchased. I must say, I liked it! It held my attention and I only wanted to go on turning each page curious and attentive of the next one. There was no slump in the middle, no quick boring ending… there is actually so much more I could have written but I did not want it to turn into a 1000 page novel. Maybe some day I will write another one called "Everything I did not write in the first book!". A bit too long of a title.

Valley of the Gods-4 xxx

We went on early as I knew the winds were coming this afternoon. Somehow at times my smartphone is picking up one bar at one X. The weather is my daily page, often more than once. Sure enough it is right now blowing at gusts of 55 mph. So familiar from years past. We will endure the day as it will only last till this evening [they say…] and actually a welcomed cold front will arrive. The wind does not bother me, it is the sound of the freight trains passing by which gets under my skin! Somehow I have never quite gotten over that.

Campsite-2 xxx

We are waiting for the balloonists to show up this weekend as they do every April. We have not seen them in a few years and not being in touch with them I have no idea if the event is still on. I should have asked the desk clerk at the local Motel if some reservations had been made as that is where some of them spend the nights. I guess it will be a surprise. Either way these days are therapeutic and we will start to head North probably in a few days stopping near by Moab for sure. One of my favorite little big towns! 

Campsite xxx

It was on to bed early last night after more reading and a quick dinner. We had to skip our nightly hike as even Spirit was not too excited about being outside. I almost wore my helmet to just walk around. I woke up early seeing some light coming through and thinking it was the sun rising but the Moon instead in its last quarter was doing the best it could throwing a glow on this flat land and the many buttes just hanging out. The wind was missing. Dead calm. I have so much learned to enjoy such moments as I know, it is predicted, today more winds will travel by. Not as strong as yesterday but they will. I will take what I can while all is calm and serene. Slowly more light comes through. What a sight. This is when the balloons, if present, will rise in a few days. I sure hope they do make it here. It will also be nice to see familiar faces and attend their incredible brunch on Sunday morning in this middle of vast Desert. Kind people.

Cropped final for DEE

         A few more weeks!

Stay well, Ara and Spirit