A once over. TX [Pineapple Chicken]

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

“A traveler who leaves the Journey open to the roads finds unforeseen things come to shape it. ‘The fecundity of the unexpected’” ~ William Least Heat-Moon ~


There is euphoria in the air, no doubt. More “Dreamland” is paving the way for the Soul and the wheels and all. It was two days past of heavy winds, I think a not so distant neighbor even went to seek mental refuge in an Alpine Motel. It does create beautiful imagery, but what a price to pay. Rain, snow, all is well if it has to, but wind can truly get under one’s skin when on for too long. I was talking about our “weather” preparedness with a Friend of mine this afternoon, as lately I have been caught without much warning, a fact that never happened in years past. I realized the truth of the matter. Depending on the Internet too much, depending on the days to go on one after another with the sunny frame of mind I “expect”. My complete gear is back on the bike, one bag has it all, rain or shine or wind or snow, it is now again ready as I feel having given in to a bit too much comfort.

full time gear bag The Kitchen Sink

All the riding gear hot and cold in one bag. The kitchen sink on the right.

Clothes bag Computer bag

Clothing in right saddlebag, computer “stuff” in left “foam padded” saddlebag.

I think tonight I am done packing, or re-packing for the gazillion’th time and strange enough the kitchen sink does not feel very full. Maybe finally I have learned my favorite path called “simplicity”. There will always be that open door to learn more and more about travelling. It never cease. One of my Sponsor “Overland Journal”,  truly a beautiful magazine printed on some exquisite paper and articles which makes me dream even more, calls it “Overlanding”, as I quote their description “Overlanding is about exploration, rather than conquering obstacles. While the roads and trails we travel might be rough or technically challenging, they are the means to an end, not the goal itself. The goal is to see and learn about our World, whether on a weekend trip 100 miles from home or a 10,000-mile expedition across another Continent. The vehicle and equipment can be simple or extravagant – they, too, are simply means to an end. History, wildlife, culture, scenery, self-sufficiency – these are the rewards of Overlanding.”

L Tank Pannier R Tank Pannier

Left tank pannier for 1st Aid Kit, sidecar cover, 140W Inverter. Right pannier for battery charger, air compressor, thermos, bear spray…

5 G water camera case

5G water jug with room left for soft cooler. Pelican foam padded camera case.

It is that time to go on, winter has made it’s mark, the gray days will be erased and let the blues proclaim victory for the coming months. One of our first stop in April, 16th through the 18th, will actually be spend at the “Overland Expo” in Amado, Arizona, where Spirit and I will also be part of a panel as a Special Guest in company of names such as Ted Simon, Lois Pryce, Austin Vince, Lorraine Chittock, and more. The list is long, the classes are of many and I am honestly excited about it all as also many Friends will be attending. I actually do not think 3 days are going to be enough to experience it all! And in case anyone wants to know, Spirit has his VIP tag waiting for him. It will be a Dog and Children and why not, probably Cats also, Friendly experience. The way it should be.

The Oasis  

Slow forward. A few years ago, when I lived on a sailboat, a few slips away, this other man lived on a small trawler. I think it was maybe at the most a 30 footer with a custom deck and cabin. He did not speak much, barely nodded his head adorned with gray hair and an odd looking beard, odd to me at the time. While walking by we always tried to pick through the porthole into his cabin to see what he was doing. Marinas do not have much privacy with the boats parked only few feet away from each other. Simple was his cabin, very simple. Small basic galley, a desk I remember, a bench cushioned and that was it. No thrills, hues of beige, he sat there reading with a note pad and a pencil next to him. It was not nice to glance in but I did. I never knew till now, years have past, 15 or 20, why those images always stuck with me so vividly. We kind of made fun of him too, not in a fallacious way but we did, and I feel so bad about it as I see myself today sitting alone in what I now, for the fun of it, call my office, office hours depending on the weather, very generous today. I don’t know if anyone would make fun of me, it really does not matter. Spirit laying by my feet is not, if nothing else he seems to be enjoying these now invisible walls.

Waterproof EXPED bag Tank Bag

EXPED waterproof bags in panniers all around. Main tank bag for personal belongings and SPOT

And how did all these thoughts came about? The simplicity of Life of this man I really never met, my own today realizing that it is "IT" as for the moment now, present, and who knows for more to come this will be. Throughout these past years many have strongly insinuated great ideas such as putting together a Coffee Table Book, a Recipe Book for on the road cooking, even a coloring Book, the advices have always been there. I myself cannot do it. It does not fit within my path of simplicity as it would rock this boat into an uncomfortable position. It is the time spend and the lack of knowledge. It all seems so simple but never is. I always thought how nice it would be for someone else to do it for us. Someone knowledgeable unlike me in those matters. That idea always failed… Talk is cheap, actions prevail, funny to me how so many turned around and walked away initially so interested from what could also be a great experience. They did not however have the Passion needed.

Oil cans Rear lights

MSR oil bottles. “Hella” ‘Angel Eyes” rear lights surrounded by separate LED’s drawing only .4amp for night time emergency lights.

It has been a battle within me wanting to offer this and that, till last night. A reputable and recommended Friend with whom we had agreed after some e mails to seriously talk never called. Let it again go I thought, you are dealing with the real World, the one I exited a while back. Then I thought maybe something happened to her. Then I happen to see a post of hers on Facebook and I started smiling , even laughing at how today’s technology could show colors of another. And this morning, as the Office opened up, as I am sipping my coffee, some really good Australian Mountain Top Estate, Bundja, Extra Fancy, freshly roasted a couple days ago, the sun is basting my back already warming up, looking up at the few clouds passing by so serene and peaceful, I felt as being slapped by the lack of respect last night was only a lesson well earned. School had yet to close it’s doors as I think that man alone in his boat knew this, I know now he did as he was never rude, I know he just wanted to breathe within his own Space as the years had also gone by for him, and most likely had that last craving for that taste so few of us can have, only mostly cherish. It reaffirmed how solid my foundation had become as we live in our own Space unspoiled by… I am at a loss for words. 


Mounting a grill to prevent more holes on the engine cover. Easily removable for an oil change.

This Friend called this morning, and today was another page turned already. Yesterday was water under the bridge. Lets turn it all into a positive path I said, the keys of that door of that School, the Universal one, well, there really were never any keys as there are not ever locks on them either. We had a great conversation, she was not a stranger to our Journal, and it was so great to have the ability to overcome the senseless petty aspects a Life can throw at us moment after moment and instead turn them into positive facets filled with smiles, as even if we were not born with one, smiles should be the imprints and signatures of our presence toward each other. My moral? I am glad this person forgot to call last night, it made us both stronger and heightened our awareness toward it all. “It’s all good”. That is also the way it should be as that old man in that boat alone probably knew it all and saw us as young a bit disrespectful sailors. We thought at the time…

pineapple chicken pineapple chicken

This is an easy camping and home one pan recipe which goes well over plain white rice. I breaded the chicken and sautéed on a medium high flame with a mixture of butter and oil. It does not have to be breaded, it is only my personal preference. I only wet the chicken with water and breaded as such skipping any kind of egg wash or milk. Then on some chopped garlic, green onions and cilantro. To taste. Remove the chicken when done and in the same pan add the chopped prep. Sautéed well, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of pineapple preserve and the juice of one or two limes. 2 is better. Stir a bit and that is about it all. Would look nice with some julienne red peppers on top, but… I could not find any amongst the cactuses around here. Enjoy

pineapple chicken pineapple chicken

There will be more on our camping gear, tent, sleeping bag and pad, stove, more…

Till next time, you be well, always, it is our best choice.

Ara & Spirit

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6 Responses to “A once over. TX [Pineapple Chicken]”

  1. Kevin Clark Says:

    Wow… I love that first photo… Its stunning,I can only imagine how it was in real time!!

  2. Louise Says:

    I see you decided to point BOTH Angel Eyes back toward the tailgaters! And the photo of the “ex-tent” made us both smile. Sean noticed that you didn’t leave the compost “bucket” in the photo.

    I like that you’ve simplified your gear. Have a great trip! We’ll be going to Albuquerque next, then back through Arizona. Maybe we’ll cross paths before or after the Overland Expo.

  3. Debbie Says:

    Looks like you are packed and ready to go. Are you heading out before April and work your way to Arizona? Have fun.

  4. Debbie Says:

    I just looked up where Amado, AZ is located and unbelievably, we are about 15 miles from Tombstone tonight. Doing the Tombstone tour tomorrow and the other sites around here.

  5. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara,
    You’ve worked magic with light again with your first and last photos! Randy and I are still working through technical issues to get our slide in camper mounted securely and ready to go on some longer trips. Your pineapple chicken recipe looks especially intriguing and scrumptious. It will be a great one to try at home before we take it on the road. Wishing you and Spirit safe travels among the wonders of the Southwest!

  6. ginny Says:

    A most enjoyable post and I am happy to see it. I think the pictures of the rig are all very good. I liked the descriptions of your gear as well. The road beckons you…

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