“In Spanish there is a word for which I can’t find a counterword in English. It is the verb ‘vacilar’, present participle ‘vacilando’. It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is ‘vacilando’, he [she] is going somewhere but doesn’t greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has a direction”
~ John Steinbeck ~ Travels with Charley ~
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The dynamics so much have changed these past 15 months since my Mother passed away. The ones governing my Life, our Life. It is pretty much an "alone" situation bringing up the lack of conversations, ideas exchanged, much Love, thoughts shared and now taking a path deeper than ever into consequences of consequences of actions taken. Life is on my shoulders and this certain sense of "on my own", which always was, yet not in this fashion, weighs heavier than ever trying to break through this barrier up. Living in the now is present and at the same time escapes me. Just a couple days ago I realized it is almost vanishing. Too many "if" and more "if". We did not think as much of the consequences of our actions in our youth. Jokingly, I would say, our only thought was always to not get caught!
This is and has been such a strange feeling. There is no doubt I knew that someday I would miss my Mother. I just never knew how much of an impact she had on my Life even from thousands of miles away. It hurts as once again I diligently apply myself for the colors surrounding me to brighten up while sharpening my tools used to handle this path on the road. I cannot take these nights and days superficially. Luckily my own words written bounce back and appease me. These pages are never of a motorcycle laying down on its side in the mud creating a "Oh! How cool that is…" or an array of cans of beer and bottles of whiskey wanting the world to know another form of pain to come. I don’t drink! I don’t belong to the "Terlingua Drinking Club"… That, another subject of its own.
Yet, I realize I have to get away from the constant thought of what "if" and mainly the consequences of the consequences. Spontaneity has to return as today is always the first day of the rest of our Life. "Acceptance" fades too often. Myself, as also with Friends, we witness the beauty dangling in front of our nose at times not seen. "Acceptance" is a much stronger word anyone can imagine. It is the thought of the finality of Life which will be engrained in us. "It is what it is". There is never going back even returning to that one minute ago. Easier said than done. I so much wish I had a huge family, many children, brothers and sisters! Amazing as I grew up as a single child never knowing one of those days that fact would have such an impact on me. Consequences!
In reality, while thinking about all this, what is there to truly "think" about in regard to our present Lives? We follow the cooler weather all year round, we have somehow after three thousand nights and days developed an intimate relationship with the country and the destinations taken, while always searching for the "new" and "beautiful" which never lacks or will. It is not a physical truth of the moments to come but an inner one which has left me a bit hollow, as they say "not able to reach and touch". I feel so fortunate having Spirit by my side and can only hope he will give me a few more good years of his own Life. More than ever we have become one. Not that he has replaced my Son or my Mother, but a constant companion day in and day out. He knows it too. I feel his closeness has increased, his eyes never ever leaving my sight.
There are however still "some" who do not realize or accept that these pages are my own. Nasty, mean and heartless, for lack of better words, e-mails still come in weekly sometimes. They show so well the array of us Human Beings so different from each other. Disrespecting the memory of my Child and my Mother is common in their words. It truly amazes me that with millions of other pages written on the Internet they have to read ours and on, as now, with dull darts project their insults. I must add as it always has been, they cowardly hide behind fake addresses unable to reply. Why would I want to though? How miserable they must be in their own skin suffering and so wanting others to suffer with them their lack of dignity. It is part of the complete gamma of this society we live within. Sometimes a sad one. The good people outnumber them, that is one reprise which I think makes us all float to the surface of well being versus their dark and deep pit they are slowly smoldering in. What a shame…
We are visiting some dear Friends right now in Lander before heading North in a couple days. Spirit stayed here one time when I went to Germany. He knows this is where I left him behind as more than ever he stays under my foot and if I go out the door just for a few minutes he is right behind it waiting. What a faithful companion. I played with their one year old. A cool little guy that loves food and gets into everything. We actually even threw ball one evening. What a happy child. That was, since we have now left, such a true reality also in his eyes. Children are magic. How can some parents forget that aspect. I would give my Life to just once more embrace my own lost Child.
The mind calmed down once we passed Cody and took on Chief Joseph Highway nearing Montana looking for a site to occupy for a few days while we will also ride Bear’s Tooth Pass. Maybe even have a cheeseburger at the Red Box in Red Lodge. No dispersed camping here and we pulled in the second one we saw at a higher elevation as it was getting late. Hunter Peak. It was a "Oh! no…" situation as "reserved" cards where on every post for this $5 a night campground! One card, lucky us, said "available tonight". Too tired to go further we settled as a few minutes later the hosts showed up. Yes, all reservations are done centrally through an 800 number and there would be nothing available for the rest of the season. But… understanding our dilemma, the host is going to take us tomorrow to a secret spot, a primitive site which sounds promising.
Winter gear once again is out unpacked. This summer I am playing this game counting the hot days. We only have had two. I am pretty excited about that considering this is the first day of August and here we are again at elevation. Last evening was actually cold and if we ride into the late hours of the day, who knows, we might even need our heated gear! The space here, the sharp peaks, all is so massive, so breathtaking and the roads built such an accomplishment. We are not just riding through this time around, we will be living here with Red Lodge and Cody as our two towns opposite from each other in case we need anything and that would include fuel.
The outcome of this game did not quite turn out as I thought it would be. From blue skies quickly all turned into an almost black color and the hail mixed with rain started. Here and there a break while our friends the mosquitoes showed up to visit relentlessly. Tomorrow the rain gear comes out, right now it is back to reading. The oppressing weather spared us today as we did make it to Red Lodge and came back the long way through a hotter section. The area always leaves me speechless. The photos do not make justice to this grandiose stage surrounding us. One afternoon while napping and hiding from our flying friends, typical “us”, we left. Those mosquitoes became a non sense not just in the evening but all day long. Enough was enough and we are now on the banks of the Madison River south of Ennis. More favorite spaces surround us.
Ara and Spirit