Ah! A different State… New Mexico

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The last night it was at “The Oasis” a couple days ago. The sky was on fire and the pecan wood logs were smoking nicely for the last time some little cheeseburgers under Spirit’s watchful eyes, of course. There was no care and no thoughts within the space present, even the wind had died down announcing the calm start of this last evening. What a Journey within a Journey here has been. Such growth, so many answers making their way up to the surface, time passing too quickly as I can still so vividly remember the first time I laid my eyes on the land. It is a special place, others visiting also have felt it within the first minutes present. They spoke about it with their mind so suddenly transported as on a foreign land not quite experienced before.

sunset c 

But the feeling of “the road” has never left me. We have been down these blue ribbons now for a couple days, we went this way instead of that way… and that indescribable receptivity, that conscious excitement is back stronger than ever. I search for words to express myself, they are so hard to find. It is not as going for a two week ride, it is not even as going on a six months adventure, it is the ultimate perception that suddenly “return” does not have to exist. Is it freedom? Pretty close to it…

silver lining

I took this photo yesterday and as I called it the “silver lining” I realized that it pretty much summed it all up. There is no need for words, the Journey just has not been defined yet, the photos will just have to express it all. We end up spending most of the day in Alpine, the last errands, a missing prescription and a last minute change of route as coming through Carlsbad and Roswell would be about the same mileage toward Valley of the Gods as going through El Paso. Strong winds all day were our companions as the “White Elephant” made it’s way through the many little towns lined up ahead of us.

truck a

All felt poor throughout the miles. It was almost as a reflection of the present state of economy everyone seems to be going through, even if I knew that most of the structures had started dwindling down many years ago. Life seemed muted on those back roads and so were the colors in parallel with the sky in it’s gray hues. We took “White Elephant” with us, she will be Base Camp in many different locations as she was back at “The Oasis”. It is this time, I am finding out, such an asset to have solar power, much water stored on the same trailer “Old Faithful” is for the time being resting her old bones and having my own Internet Dish. As long as the wheels can roll on, we can be anywhere independent to explore further while tenting on shorter trips.

truck b 

We are in Carlsbad right now and our SPOT will always be on as we move. We are on the other side of the coin. What an irony, I must say to my surprise, a pleasant one, only till tomorrow morning. We are camping at… Walmart! We had nothing, now we have it all, everything… walking distance. The stay is free, they are saving me $100 a month on my medication which they will also mail wherever we are, we took off for the Carlsbad Caverns this morning only 20 miles away, as slow as it is we do have an Internet connection to catch up on e mails. I am smiling here when I say… “Life is Good”.

Philips 66

Is it noisy? yes… Is it peaceful? no… My ears are suddenly in search for the ear plugs as I know now how loud tires can be when the pedal is to the floor. I just whish I would understand why? But this is good for us. I am actually enjoying it in a certain sadistic way, trying to figure out if my brain waves still function within the same train of thoughts. All seems alright and I sure will not have an excuse if we lack of anything we “need” when we arrive back into our solitude, not what we “want” of course…

shack a

shack b shack c

The Caverns? Well, they have left me speechless truly. Too many photos which I will end up making a Gallery on SmugMug and post the link, but also an exhibit to come back to and spend a week or when the time arrives I stop saying “wow”. The photos are taken without a tripod, up to 5 seconds of exposure with a 2.8 16~35 L Canon lens, sometimes with the help of a guard rail or my knees…



The facilities are first class. Arrive early for a parking spot as the Caverns open at 9am, the Visitor Center at 8am. They have a great kennel but Spirit waited within the “White Elephant” as he does just fine throughout the more beauty naps he takes alternatively with food and water. I took the self guided tour which is about a mile, another mile for the Big Room and finally the elevator to exit. I was doing just fine till the operator told me that is was as going up as in a 75 story building! It’s personal… very personal… it has name…


cavern a  
cavern b  

How can you not Love Mother Nature? It was an extraordinary Journey underground, spaces created and decorated drop by drop. They are also a few guided tours which I will do next time, such as the King’s Palace, Queens’s Chamber and the Papoose Room. The self guided tour and Big Room are free with an annual pass, which really surprised me considering the extend of the work done for us visitors.

cavern c

cavern d  

I will have many more photos of the Caverns and much more information on the next Blog. In the meantime, this was the last Sunset photo taken from The Oasis… already a memory.

sunset e

Twenty nine months of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… 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 SmugMug. 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

PS: Having to give credit where credit is due, Spirit did help with new tires before we left. He was not happy… can you tell?

spirit and the tires b

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4 Responses to “Ah! A different State… New Mexico”

  1. chessie Says:

    I so love these caverns. I haven’t been back since 2000…I realize it’s time to make the trek once more! Great pictures, and thanks for sharing…

  2. Joel Says:

    If you are still in the area, find Sitting Bull Falls, NW of Carlsbad. It should be vacant on a weekday and is a magic place for a cool dip on a hot day. Also, nice (free) Forrest service camping up in the Guads past Queen.

  3. texascindy Says:

    So glad to know you have the White Elephant for base camp. With these storms rolling across seemingly unseasonably and pretty darned intense, the RV is more stable than a tent. Great pics as always! We need to go back to the Caverns; 23 years ago and I barely remember them…I’m sure they haven’t changed.

    Safe travels!

  4. Louise Says:

    “Return does not have to exist…”

    Yes! That’s it! That’s why we live this life. There is no need for any particular path except the one that we want today. Other people are baffled by this. “When will you be back? Where are you going next?” We answer, “We don’t know and don’t really care. We go where we go and we visit when we are near.” The lack of a definite plan reaching into the future upsets them, it disrupts their world of knowing exactly where they will be every Tuesday at 10:30am for years to come.

    Heck, I never even know when it is Tuesday…

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