Beartooth Pass, one more time. MT

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
my window at sunrise  

Monday, July 13th, afternoon. I’ll take in the days as they come, as we did yesterday leaving under blue skies, a few white puffs here and there, we then got rained on, heavily, it is never a loss, just another great day on the road, a state of mind regardless of the conditions. Riding smart we did not make it to “The Top of the World” store, or Cooke City, and yet, I did not turn around soon enough to avoid a deluge as it is, has been here, for the past many days. We stayed put today, sat by what I now call my “window”, my back to the sun in the afternoon, my eyes toward it in the morning, looking down at those thousands of acres and the constant play of clouds above. What a photo will not convey are the sounds of the winds here. What it will not channel into one’s senses are the smells in and out drifting. One can look on the screen, on paper, at this valley, and almost not feel a thing, it is after all without any extensive landmark, it is just a valley I looking down from this hill find it so phenomenal, so incredible and marvelous.

My window  
Pine trees  
Flowers Yellow bud

Is it a photo that is going to listen to the “wows” and the eyes looking up as almost being another wonder of the World? Probably not, but it should. It makes me realize the reality of this Journey not being one for the engaging photos, but laid ahead for triggering my senses toward “everything” that surrounds me. Who does not like glamorous and fascinating photos of all colors and shapes and designs so particular to one’s own taste? We all do. But there is so much more, as I am even apprehensive to use the word “common” as in the common trees, common flowers and as such. I find myself sometimes too lost in the unique search for that landscape that is going to make me linger my vision on, taking me back by then to the memories stored up trying to bring back those sounds and smells, I had forgotten the uncommon “common”.

Hwy 78  
Beartooth Mountains  

What a wonderful hobby it is to hunt throughout the days for those sights that indeed will create the eyebrow rising delights. But today I am learning, maybe with a strong reminder, as sitting by my “window”, that the almost eccentric sights are of an every day sight if only one can not take it for granted and admire even the “common” landscape always laying ahead of them, as truly there is never anything common about anything. These winds here are new to me, they are new to Spirit also as I can see him not being very comfortable with their sounds. We are on top of a hill and I yet would not know how to describe them. They come in bursts, all is calm, dead calm, and suddenly like a freight train through the trees, shivering everything surrounding us including myself, it passes through. Sometimes it is more like a constant whip being to no end bringing in a coolness to the air taking away today the little heat we could have.

Beartooth Pass  

Montana has one of the harshest weather we have ever experienced. The sky will turn from blues to dark grays in a heartbeat. Since here, I have carried all my riding gear, including electric heated ones, in close reach all in one waterproof bag, and not a day goes by seeing me change on the side of the road. Such was the case riding toward Beartooth Pass taking Highway 78 this time from Columbus just 19 miles away from Reed Point. Rolling hills, lush greens, smooth roads and soft curves toward Red Lodge I did not remember ever riding it before. It was one of those roads I never wanted to end, Beartooth Mountain range as a background drop, it just does not get any better.

Beartooth Pass  
Beartooth Pass  

Red Lodge I do remember, it is a town that seemingly has changed and is now a destination as it will be this coming weekend for near 10,000 other riders I was told. Old Faithful unconsciously stopped again in front of the Red Box for another double bacon cheeseburger with the special sauce. Neatly wrapped, crispy bacon, the melted cheese tucked in so properly to avoid any contact with the wrapper, what can I say, guilty as charged. We even had, well, I did anyhow, a chocolate sundae, the old fashion kind. A Family had pulled in, I end up being a bit in the middle of them all in the ordering line, and as the man pointing the finger to each member was asking their chosen flavor, as a joke I said “make mine chocolate”! A kind man, as he did bring me the chocolate flavored sundae as I was finishing my cheeseburger… I felt embarrassed, saying that I was joking, thanked him many times and did accept it. Life on the road, always filled with surprises and courteous people.

Beartooth Pass  
Beartooth Pass  

Tuesday, July 14th, morning. I woke up today witnessing even more fury outside. It has been a long time since I have been wanting one of those wind anemometers, wind speed has always been one of my curiosity. I am guessing today the bursts being at around 30 mph, icy cold as the temperature is showing in the mid forties, this is summer in Montana. I can just imagine what winter is like! We might have to stay put till tomorrow and catch up on much e mail accumulated these past days. More reading also as yesterday I started a new book called “Tuesdays with Morrie”, a book that has already impacted me in more ways than one, it has brewed my thoughts as some time needs to pass on for all to settle. It is a book about Life and the choices we make. In this story it is the choices about a Professor slowly attacked by ALS who asks himself as I quote “do I wither up and disappear, or do I make the best of my time left?”. It takes me back a few years when myself asked and pondered on my own statement of that time “shouldn’t the World stop? don’t they know what happened to me?” as I thought and believed for the longest time being the only victim on Earth.

Beartooth Pass  
Beartooth Pass  

His Life went on, “one precious day at the time”. I find it a matter of focusing on these precious days as they truly are, as so often we loose their known values as I know I myself do at times. I am not trying or feeling somber, but dying is what awaits us at the end of this rainbow. It is a fact we mostly fear all our Life but has not known any avoidance. “learn how to die and you will learn how to live” he said. We cannot and should not go through this Life of ours half asleep on auto pilot as following such beliefs only because of their ease as so often standing up to confront the days can be a chore, a chore however that will reward us through these passing moments. It is all part of this Journey, these days on the road, this path Karma has taken us on. There are no coincidences, they are all the reasons laid out always ahead of us as minute some of it’s details can be… the kind man buying me an ice cream, the hospitality of my Friend Michael having us here and letting us enjoy another chapter within this road of ours, this book awakening my inner Soul as a reminder that “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where is influence stops” – Henry Adams

Beartooth Pass  
Beartooth Pass  

Be well… always.

Merchandise on Smugmug, Photos and Free “e-card” on my new Zen  Gallery

Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.

Ara & Spirit

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5 Responses to “Beartooth Pass, one more time. MT”

  1. D. Brent Miller Says:

    Tuesdays with Morrie … a great book full of philosophy for life.


  2. Zelda Says:

    Hi, Ara,
    Your pictures are superb, but I think you make your experiences complete for us with sounds, smells, biting cold and welcome sun. In reading today’s post we feel the cold of the wind, the warmth of the sun and of human hearts, hear the roar of the wind bursting out of silence, smell the odors and fragrances of a new part of the country. We have been through that part of the country a few times, and your pictures and experiences living in the wide spaces and elements sure call to us to return. Probably not this year, but will hope for next.
    Meanwhile, you and Spirit keep warm and revel in a good burger and sundae – you’ve earned it!
    Pam & Randy

  3. Randy Says:

    Even the weather provides interesting shading to the beauty. Wonderful pictures. Thank you.

  4. Duane Says:

    Excellent! I’m going to be in Kalispell and Whitefish next weekend. I can hardly wait.


  5. chessie Says:

    WOW….too much feeling for words…once again Ara. Thank you, for giving my mind another direction to go this morning.

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