A tear and a smile, Valley of the Gods, Utah

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

There is suddenly a big picture drawn ahead of me, I see it but not quite understand it. It only has formed while we have been here under the watchful eyes of the spirits surrounding us. I admire and spend countless hours feeling Mother Nature’s presence, wherever we are, whenever present. We have had a few visitors these past days, totally in complaisance with this space, actually visitors that have been reading this Journal for a while now as they totally surprised me. It is not like we are on the beaten path, even many of the Goulding residents about 30 miles away have never been here. Throughout our chatting I don’t really hear complains from the visitors, they are more as statements from them and others, passers by’s, wishes, the main flow of words being the lack of time through this Life for everyone to be, not necessarily as us here, but somewhere “out there”. And yet, there is time for television, there is time for “chat rooms” or “podcasts” as they are called now, just another form to often sell you something, truly presenting a beautiful wrapper with a locked in product many can only dream off. Tease is for sale, the book is… the photos are.. they are beautiful, the words are informative, and suddenly I think… where do I fit in? The visitors know where they fit in, they make up the bulk of the “chat rooms” and “pods casts”, their desires are not fulfilled. Could the “tease” become and extended reality is always the thought.

star sunset b

Where do I fit in because yes, I don’t try too hard, I do not have a commercial mind within me, but I do have photos for sale, I do have a line asking at the bottom of every chapter “if reading these words and glancing at the photos as a book with no end is worth $1 a month” to cover my Internet and logistical costs, a minute part of it anyhow…  Am I being a hypocrite? And yet I am turned off by the constant incoming waves of  “buy… buy… buy…” screamed so loudly when myself feeling how nice it would be if a few photos sold. I am starting to understand myself and the certain dilemmas facing me. They are the degrees of “pushing” the product… I see the same line over and over every thirty minutes directing the flow toward a “maybe sale”. It is “where is the passion” of it all? I feel is as being the key to the path. They are the “parameters” of the salesmanship. And yet, I do not want to sell… but I need to sell. Confusion sets in.


more flowers  

A Friend of mine years ago did a decent living from writing about riding… Today she is turned down by all as she has not stayed with the changing times that are demanding, not passion anymore, not it’s feelings, but the concrete facts of how many where at this Rally… how fast did they go… how many crashed… who had the most glitter and what area is the most commercialized to attract the most to sell the most to make the most $… What happened to the true sentiments that hovered upon us when everything was so simple? I read of a couple that quit their job after being send to an exotic country, or maybe their job was done and they chose to remain within the area only to ride and… make money from it… just another job then? Isn’t? Ah! That mighty Dollar… What can we do without it? Not much… and yet as I pointed out that “task” to me seems like a newly found job and not the fruit of passion to only ride and feel the grounds rolled upon.

 heart of grass

And no, there is nothing wrong with all of this! It is still better than being locked in between four walls and listening to the phones ringing, and yet… I don’t like commercialism when it comes to this path of passion about riding, camping… I will not say it is feeling and sensing as I know that when one tries to cover 3000 miles in 8 days none of those feelings have even the remote chance to come up to the surface. It is reality, I am not making it up… because I have listened myself to a couple “podcasts”. I have been asked to be on a a few, my reply being, honestly I don’t have much to say! I cannot compete with today’s “glitter of the road. I don’t have the funds for an overnight hot tub stay or a champagne~wine dinner for today’s attraction and “sure sell” of a book… nor would I want to. So what could be so wrong as I think about it. I am still trying to attain some clarity from this big picture and I can only hope for also my own sake that all this makes sense and find a balance for this Journey to continue as is and not on a path wrapped with only pretty colors and bows.

golden tree

I just realized how long we have been here… close to two weeks maybe. The “clock” has vanished away from me. I am loosing the nights and days and sometimes it is only this Journal that reminds me the shift of the continuous moments passing by. It is time to move on after these couple past exciting days. There is one more ride that I am leaving for the next time “John’s Canyon”, below, a great dirt road to nowhere following the base of the cliffs that makes up Mokey Dugway and the road westbound to Muley Point, which we “drove” to yesterday. “Drove” because we have had a visitor for these past couple days, Andre, from Park City, Utah, and we all jumped in his truck for the ride.

John's Canyon Rd c

John's Canyon Rd  

“John’s Canyon Rd”… appealing for the next time out.

We have had also a lot of visitors. It is just totally amazing when others stop, walk up to shake my hand and I hear “you must be Ara…”, which I try to reply, “it depends”, however Spirit not fooling them. I realize these pages have become popular, and yet I think we are just on the route of many that have the same desires throughout these States we linger within. I can remember the names when given a card, others I forget and maybe it is due time that I would start some kind of an address book.


Such wonderful people… in the middle of nowhere!

Andre’s visit was planned, it was his maiden voyage with his custom built “military” trailer which he fabricated himself. What talent I was thinking while he was showing me in details every inch of this wonder on wheels, tent included. Andre’s background has been with Land Rovers for many years and just about anything 4×4. A true Adventurer, half my age, it took me back to those fearless days, those days when the words energy combined with the lack of it was not in our dictionary.

Andre's truck k  

I am finishing writing this actually from Moab where we have just arrived and set up to regroup for a few days. Mail, parts… this and that. More on Mokey Dugway, Muley Point and the Gooseneck next time. I will try not to think too much in the meantime!!!


Twenty nine months of Photography is finally in order on Smug Mug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through Smug Mug. If you like to order prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.

Maybe your reading the Blog is worth $1 a month…

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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4 Responses to “A tear and a smile, Valley of the Gods, Utah”

  1. Ring Huggins Says:

    Hey Bud,

    Spring break was so busy I have had little time to visit. Some great photos sir.
    Maybe go out in Castle Valley behind Moab and take some photos. Keep an eye
    out for my friend Annie Fry back there. She usually has lots of dogs.



  2. Pam Says:

    Hi Ara,

    There are sites where you can list photos and companies will buy them to be used in print advertising. I don’t know much about this but here is a link to a blog that talks about this. http://www.dphotojournal.com/sell-photos-online/

    We’re going to be in Monument Valley next weekend for the full moon and then we’ll be in the four corners area for another week or two after that. We’ll keep our eyes open for you and Spirit. We’re bringing the t-shirt of Spirit I bought from you last year. We’re leaving tomorrow from Maryland and still haven’t decided which route to take across the country. There’s a very rainy weather pattern moving across the route we were going to take. Oh well. Your writings have really helped me. We do a cross country trip about every year or so and I usually have a pretty frantic itinerary planned. This time, other than the Monument Valley plans, we’re just going to go where the spirit moves us.


  3. Ginny Says:

    I’m thinking of you and Spirit. I had to stop by to see if there was any update and of course there was. Thank you for once again astounding me with words and pictures. The tree with the sun glinting through the hole made for a magnificent photograph. I also love the first one of the fire and moon. Gorgeous places and I’m sure deeply magical. You make me want to be there. I want to see my shadow long and tall on a huge boulder. I want to see a moonlit sky with blackness everywhere else save the fire…you are living a wild and free life my friend. You are a man of much fortune. 🙂

  4. Bobby Says:

    Only those that are fulfilled and content as yourself will ever understand . The Me society that holds so many captive in is an
    ADD event . Quick and faster gratification that is fleeting and temporary .
    A fortune hunt for happiness that is fleeting and only contains less quality . This then in turn leaves so many on a continuous hunt for the next fix .
    Ara , the less we have the less anxiety,worries and then true happiness is available. Those many Me items that are sold as gotta have things are just that things . Things that will not allow many to stop and watch a sunset . Pull over at a wonderful view or many of the things that just seem to be to simple for them to believe it is that good. So much of what you are experiencing and sharing is the real deal for a complete emotional , spiritual and physical Human Being . It is the Three Lock Box that the keys to open it are in many people’s eyes to far fetched . Why ? I suggest because it can’t be sold by the Me society salesman and it is just too non-glitz, no bling , not sexy and all of the campaigns slogans they come up with cannot be attached to this way of living . Thanks again and Mokey Dugway , what a road that takes you right up to the sky and a view of heaven below in the Valley of the Gods .
    As always be well in Spirit .

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