"Life is to be savored, not devoured"
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It is early morning as we start what I call our descent! From Bend to Boise to start with as again a city is needed. Someone told me it was a real boring stretch, around 365 miles. There is no such a thing as boring on the road. I never believe them. I stop for fuel and it is $5 a gallon. We skip it. I always carry an extra five gallons. It is true though, not the boring part, but the fact that there is nothing here. I came around one bend and a straight road faced us as far as I could see it lost into the horizon. Amazing. A lonely tree here and there all grown up in the midst of what remains a past wheat harvest. I always wonder why one or just a few? Were they planted or just there since the beginning maybe from a seed flown by some strong winds. Was it a forest and someone decided to leave one remnant of it behind? Or a few? This stretch reminds me of #118 in Big Bend. Power poles running alongside and when the wheat fields stops the creosote takes over, even the elevation is the same. A dirt road to the right, some to the left. The big difference is the fact that there is much BLM land meaning free camping with no fences. Something non existent in Southern Texas. A good thing probably as otherwise "The Oasis" would not exist.
So we have a slight mechanical issue. Nothing dramatic and will be fixed while in Boise. I have Spirit’s support as often I look at him expecting he would say something but he lives in the now and not seeing a mechanic, why say anything? I am actually humoring a throttle body going bad just as the throttle of Life which sometimes does not flap properly. I smile at the analogy, as lately I have been mentally a bit too wrapped up into the future. I am trying much harder to live as he does in the now. Right now, into this very moment. The past is also not now and on the same path I have to let go of its valleys and only live with its good memories. Always easier said than done. Preaching is so easy! Even to one’s self. I keep repeating that sentence.
I am trying to help a friend right now. One we have never met. Yet. Depression, back problems, financially strapped as he lost his job. All sounding just too familiar. One of his questions to himself and I took it also as to me was if he should get on medication or buy a used bike which he has found at an incredible deal costing a quarter only of its market value. I personally chose the motorcycle. For sure. I have always said "riding" is my drug of choice, not that I drink or do drugs. They just do not turn me on. He did go for the motorcycle as I saw a photo of it while he brought it home. I am going to help him through our seat sponsor to get him a customized one for his back. I cannot repay the too many that have helped us these past years and so we pass it on as it should be . We have kind sponsors and truly we do not need much. I have given boots, tents, helmets, gloves and more away when I see someone needing them. We only need one of each! That is how the World and our Society should revolve. Spirit and I are the prime example we could have never made it without "you".
A bit further down the road I see Melissa on the side of the road and slow down. Her name is on a nice cross with two beautiful baskets of flowers on each side and a few trinkets. Those crosses always get to me. Some day, one day, Life decided to take her away. Is it really that simple? It is… as I have found out throughout these past years on the road with so many unanswered questions as the answers have been "there are none". Probably the reason why Society has now been so desensitized by death unless you are a huge and popular star. Even then, so soon forgotten. I read the news on Flipboard maybe once a week. I only read the introductions, the few lines giving the outline as I generally know what follows. Hundreds die here and there, murders as this father killing his five children and keeping them in garbage bags while driving the country for days, a horrific aspect produced by what we call, the judicial system does, a Human Being. All is intervened by Paris Hilton’s shoe size, the weather "tomorrow is going to be a beautiful day…" and what the Kardashians have been up to lately. That would include a woman beater allowed to continue playing football as another one who in the past killed so many Pit Bulls in his own private arena. Greed and self gratification has surfaced to a terrible level and "Love", the most important aspect of Life might be on the wayside. How to deal with all of this? As we do… I think!
Our Mistress, "Mother Nature", has taken a break today. I did not need "that" weather forecast. There are no winds, the skies are pure blue, the temperature is perfect, it all gives me a peace of mind as the going is easy. It is not a camera day, as all so harsh and bright I even put my sunglasses on. Maybe tonight all will change, maybe not. I see another fuel station. We are now in Riley. It is truly one of those which if you blink you passed it. Fuel is cheaper here and I fill up as does my stomach with these giant soft and tasty cookies she sells. We are in Oregon and we are watched by the fuel attendant. Across the street is a lonely Post Office which must be open because I see a car parked next to it. I have some books to mail and cross the deserted road. Good old fashion Post Office. No one is ahead of me so I cannot hear any local gossip, only told that it caters to the ranchers. As I cross back I realize there is plenty of space by the store and a pond where the birds are playing in and out of the water. The cows are grazing as another question pops to mind "why are they all facing the same way?". That would be East.
It is early in the day. We only have gone 150 miles and I decided to camp right there. Why not? It felt good. There is power, water and she charges me ten dollars I happily pay as Boise would be a jungle versus this serene space. Some clouds have rolled in. I sense a beautiful sunset as flocks of birds are now landing in the pond. What a nice piece of land this is. I started imagining it would be a comfortable Northern Oasis for summer times. A small cabin with a porch and a couple rocking chairs, maybe some fish in the pond, all quiet and undisturbed from an outside world not present. It would be a story telling porch to friends visiting since family is now absent from my Life. Grand Children would have been nice, a brother, a sister, a few of them.
Correctly the clouds are putting on a show while the sun itself without warning plays it’s game in and out from behind them. Mother Nature has woken up it seems from her nap and is now putting in some energy for these moments of the day. I grab the cameras and the fun starts. That game waiting for "that moment" which will be the culmination of the show as there will not be any curtain calls. It is a one time performance with no sunsets ever alike. There are the before and after photos but there is only one for that not even few seconds which highlights them all. I have learned which one over these years. It comes from all the senses developed with much patience and respect of the land in its various stages between sunrise and sunset. I think I got this one in a couple different formats as I am pleased with it.
I wake up in the middle of the night and go outside just as an electric gas light turns itself off and all is so dark I cannot even see a few feet ahead of me. The high humidity is present and brings up the smell of the earth. Wet hay and I can even distinguish the smell from the cows. I call it a wet smell. All is quiet besides some critters by the pond which I cannot see, only hear a crack here and a crack there, a broken branch, a light step, a few wings flying and I wonder what it is. Back to sleep and morning comes too quickly. Coffee is first, Spirit is next, my breakfast comes last. We have done this a thousand times, more, a couple thousands of times but I still don’t call it a routine as every day is a different one from the past and the ones coming up. We do live in the "now".
We fast forwarded our days and ended up near Moab. Again. I could not start a fall without Utah even if 92 in the shade today. Shaffer Trail again. Next week on to Muley Point, Valley of the Gods and those spaces where we can breathe and find ourselves. Spirit wore his own Go Pro camera, an extra one was running and will for the days to come. We have some beautiful landscapes ahead of us.
Ara and Mister Spirit!