A jaunt to “St David” and the “Dragoon Mountains”. AZ

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

"In a relationship we nourish one another, within that process we need to replenish ourselves from a variety of wells.  We are "fed" by the books we read, activities that bring us pleasure and our Friends. Never forget or set aside your Friends, regardless, they are also your Wealth” ~ Ara-Robin ~


A new Benchmark “Arizona” map, my eyes are glued to the pages as I am looking for the dotted lines, the ones that mean "dirt", "unpaved", the ones less travelled. They are the ones that will take us to the most beautiful parts of this Country and yet I have to admit, it is not always true, paved ones also lead to jaw dropping spaces. I feel at the tail end of this "inconvenience", this is however when things can go sour when with too much confidence within my physical ability I will exceed Dr’s orders. I will again today be the passenger in this SUV that has lately taken me everywhere. Sometimes I drive, sometimes not, I have much to be thankful for, I have been well cared for. "Dragoon Mountains" was our destination with a bit of Freeway, a planned stop at the Holy Trinity Monastery in St David a bit passed Benson and an unplanned one in Vail, not Colorado, we are still in Arizona. Much food as always, water, we are four… 12 legs and counting. We end up running late into the day, the road turning into an unpaved one was of the intense washboard kind, a bit too much for my healing to reach our destination and turned around about 15 miles into it. There will be a next time.

Dragoon Mountains-7 [800x600]

This was a couple days ago and as I sit here remembering the beauty of that day and thinking how I would write as most do a “report” on those hours spend breathing the fresh air of this offering, I realize, something actually I have realized many times before, how lousy I am at ride reports! I read of others when time permits, the ones that keep up my interest, make me smile and laugh, teach me a lesson or two or three for that matter, yet when I myself sit here, keyboard ahead, an impenetrable wall surfaces and it is all downhill. The mind more than ever takes over as the physical entity of the Journey too often changes into a mental one. Maybe I feel I should not even try, maybe the photos alone in themselves do suffice. They do have after all have captions present. That much I can do.

Statue in Vail-2


Same store... Vail-3

It could all be of the outings being too short of durations. For now as yet I am again so thankful. Out a few hours and back into the traffic swarming avenues of the City putting on back the lid of this pot brewing for the lost vast spaces of the near past and thoughts of the with hope a not too distant future when back on the saddle feeling that air enveloping the body unobstructed by a windshield? I often write on the side of the path, phone in hand, sitting within all, Spirit curled up next to me or sometimes taking on the new smells within the vicinity. The shapes and colors and scents never cease to move me as then I can lay down in words my surroundings as an “instant” juxtaposition of it all united, as within those present moments all comes together in the meager comparison when being back within four walls. All takes time. More than a one day adventure.

St David's Monastery-11

St David's Monastery-5 St David's Monastery-6
St David's Monastery-8 St David's Monastery-9

St David's Monastery-4

St David's Monastery-12

St David's Monastery

Lifestyle. I don’t know of anyone embracing their own with such passion, such fervor and as such with thoughts of never enough. How can it be never enough when the physical path is filled with so many compromises? I have now tasted a few weeks of my previous Lifestyle. A nice full kitchen, the food stores and so many others within minutes surrounding us where any desire of any ingredient are just there always waiting, not only few but a choice, a plentiful choice. The comfort of a real bed followed by the guilt of long showers without the concern of running out of water, our “liquid gold” as I have always called it when hauled from such long distances, even a dishwasher, such a foreign concept. Everything so easy on the body and yet for myself at times so hard on the mind, a mind which does not put up with the compromises as easily as the frame that carries me. I cannot trade permanently as this figure I always see ahead of me again surfaces, an image at time scary, at times welcomed. An old man with long white hair wrapped in a white sheet with it’s cane pointed at the sky and his dog, his faithful companion sitting by him, maybe the only one truly understanding such Lifestyle… and enjoying it. As always the “balance” makes it’s play. The “old man” likes it both way…

The Chapel

St David's Monastery-15

St David's Monastery-17 St David's Monastery-18

St David's Monastery-16

St David's Monastery-19

There is never right or wrong when harm is not present. I just started reading a couple days ago a new found book called “Wherever you go there you are” by “Jon Kabat Zinn”. I enjoy reading non fiction, I have not for a while as time has been escaping me, and as going through the chapters laid out, my attention was caught by one titled “Sitting by Fire”. It was not the point as much of not many as us without the ability while on the road or at “The Oasis” to most every night light a fire that made me jump some 170 pages to read it, it was it’s message sent out reasoning with the fact that today’s fire has been, was, replaced with “television” and now as I myself witness it “Internet”. Fire is a comfort, heat, light, even protection. A magical show where the source of the thoughts are, in parallel with the dancing flames, purely and simply sourced by our mind.

Dragoon Mountains

Dragoon Mountains-9

“Bubble Gum for the eyes” is quoted and how true it is as suddenly the World I feel around me comes to a halt and the laptops opens for… what wealth"?… too often almost as an addiction, as a conspiracy to rob ourselves of the many precious moments in which we might be living more fully. I cannot succumb to such, I cannot collapse to this addictive external absorption in quite too often distractive emptiness when I myself have developed other habits which grounds me with the core of my Life bringing back and maintaining the elemental yearning inside ourselves for warmth, stillness and inner peace.

Dragoon Mountains-6

Dragoon Mountains-17

When I am truly not trying to get anywhere but simply allowing myself to be here in this moment as it is, I then so easily can stumble upon an ancient stillness, the one even further behind my thoughts and feelings, which long ago and today for me we find sitting by the Fire, the one I always called at “The Oasis” the “Center of my Universe” for such reason. It is when Friends can look at each other only absorbed by each other as the too often multi tasking of this fast today’s paved Life which has lost it’s personal touch where even eye contact sometimes is a thing of the past when only thinking we hear each other but not really to it’s fullest sentiments. Having said that, I would be wrong not wanting to write a disclaimer on my above words as myself do browse the Internet and do own a laptop. I am however more off line than on line for the convenience of present photos and writing, this machine that has replaced the old leather bound notebook and photo album which could be used… around a Fire when gathered with Friends.

Dragoon Mountains-13

Dragoon Mountains-15 Dragoon Mountains-16

Dragoon Mountains-2

I guess this is my ride report today as odd as it might seem… enjoy the photos if nothing else makes much sense. I hope it does and hope that once again Friends can feel close and not too often absorbed within this new technology which is slowly loosing what once we called “togetherness”. 

AZ Sunset

Ara & Spirit

Be Safe and well
Peace, Love, Courage

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4 Responses to “A jaunt to “St David” and the “Dragoon Mountains”. AZ”

  1. Michael of Utah Says:

    Ara the photograph of the three trees is incredible. I can’t stop looking back at it. It reminds me of places I know. Thanks for sharing your photography.

  2. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara, Superb pictures as always. They are as astonishingly beautiful now as they were two years ago when we first met you and discovered them. Your SPOT shows you back at the Oasis. I hope your trip was a pleasant and comfortable one. I also hope you are taking good care of yourself as you continue to recover from your surgery and are looking forward to more adventures on the road when warmer weather comes. Sure hope Robin can be part of some of those adventures. In the quiet of the Oasis please remember that you are not alone, but surrounded by caring and admiring thoughts from your many friends. We all agree that your new happiness in life is entirely good, and that Lance also would heartily agree.
    Pam, Randy & Natasha

  3. Lorena Says:

    I know what you mean about the fire. I find myself whiling away the winter hours staring into the flames of my woodstove. It’s hard to believe something so primal can bring so much contentment.

  4. Mary Says:

    So the computer screen is the new fire, and we can share our thoughts and sights worldwide with it.
    True, there’s no real heat, or means of actually cooking, but I can admire your cooking (when you post photos!) and see some of the sights of the world thru your eyes.

    A real campfire is also possible, so we have the best of both worlds.
    Take care and ride safe.

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