“Footprints” from Wyoming

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

"Many people will walk in and out of your Life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."


Bear’s Tooth Pass, Part I of II


Bear’s Tooth Pass, Chief Joseph Highway, spaces we will return very soon I know again and again even so if the threat of Bears is great as the ride throughout these past few days was just too fast for my snail pace speed as also the scales of such beauty indescribable with words was tipped while staying at some Friend’s Campground. Sometimes I use the word “Friend” too loosely. I have been angry these past couple of days, torn quite a bit as when I look around me seeing such stage and come back replaying the past as we have left such human element, it leaves me dumbfounded. There is no understanding, there is only lessons after lessons as sometimes my grades are not of the best.

 Chief Joseph Highway

 Chief Joseph Highway-2

 Chief Joseph Highway-3

I had written pages and pages, they are stored as I myself read them and none of it makes any sense. The result of this incident is in my mind the predominant chapter of greed encompassing the balance between Friendship and Business. I lean always toward the Human Friendship, that “gold badge” we acquire with time through mutual respect, a respect this time around slipping away replaced by an indescribable attitude as yet, considering the players, not surprising.

Toward Chief Joseph Highway-3

Toward Chief Joseph Highway-5

Toward Chief Joseph Highway-2

It pained me to witness another dog with their owner present trying to take a chunk out of Spirit’s neck. More than that. Yes, owner present, let go ahead of us for the purpose of proper handling, but must have been deviated by trying to reach for his beer instead of his dog off his leash in this environment I found out a bit too late where “Cocktail Hour” starts at noon. Spirit’s golden heart surfaced as he only escaped by turning away, I saw that glimpse of kindness in his eyes, and myself grabbing his collar while he was still on his leash and putting up my foot. What are people thinking? Or maybe not? I had to hear "but he warms up slowly to other dogs…". Really? Spirit’s patience only runs so long, I took on the responsibility to get him away. What does one incident has to do with the sudden mood of our stay? A lot. Over and over the absence of rules needed when in such environment. All not for us. The reel has not stopped playing the same scene over and over.

Bear's Tooth Pass-5

Bear's Tooth Pass-4

Bear's Tooth Pass-2

I then felt where the importance of the situation had moved into. I realized this was beyond the vicious attack but the factor to not say anything as to not loose an employee even if so is a difficult commodity to obtain in this area. A “couple”, two who are labeled as “working alcoholics” by their own employer, and I mean as in constant drunk “stupor”, not working. I could almost title this entry "PR invitation at a Campground employing working alcoholics with biting Dogs". A bit rude I must say. How about turning the vet bill expenditures as they have had previously toward other dogs into some positive training versus all days before this incident hearing a dozen times "I just don’t know what to do". Spirit or myself was never of concern but the “business” was, the only focus, the only care as this would not propagate. Of course without say…. what are we ourselves doing here? An error, I am only Human I keep telling myself.

Chief Joseph Highway-2

Bear's Tooth Pass-6

Bear's Tooth Pass-7

We are long gone by now, we are lounging in Bozeman for the night. I like Bozeman, I like it’s Main Street, the dog friendly sidewalks, the smiles and good humor. We are regrouping to head further North, maybe a bit East then, who knows. The ride up to Chief Joseph Highway and Bear’s Tooth Pass where of excellence with much camping space. So immense and breathtaking. The colors for ever changing, from the red rocks of the lower elevations mixed in with the most vivid greens to the snow banks and iced ponds of an 11,000 feet elevation.

back towards Cody-3

back towards Cody-5

Crisp cold air, euphoria moments never truly wanting to leave. That is where we belong. This has been a detour yet expanding. What can be Mother Nature’s formula to soothe my senses as she does? as she leaves within me this “footprint” of a true Friend. What an incredible power she has as we came back riding, pulled over and a few steps away we both laid down in the knee high green grass under a pine tree, the wind was playing it’s tunes on and off, it was cool, it was comfort, it was my "nothing" regained for the day amongst while looking up the giant puzzle of the cotton clouds trying to maybe initiate the common afternoon storm. When will I learn who to trust?

back towards Cody 

back towards Cody-6

Such I feel beautiful space, and yet the underlying human exchange is so much at times too muddy for us. Moving on and taking with us the good memories. The photo contents and my Love for my Buddy.

sunset clouds-3

 sunset clouds-6

"I have had a great deal of interest in my photography over the years, for which I am grateful. Their sales are of much importance funding this Journal. Yes, please feel free to purchase one or two… or a few. I have been adding some photos lately, there will be more as I sift through about 100,000 of them.

Take a look. “Smugmug” stands for quality. Thank you”

Be well, always.

Ara & Spirit

Toward Chief Joseph Highway-8

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10 Responses to ““Footprints” from Wyoming”

  1. hobopals Says:

    Ara, you ran into people who do not understand what an honor it is to have a close relationship with a Dog. They don’t know how to experience the purity of a Dog’s soul and being. Therefore, they have little regard for their welfare because they believe that Dogs are not as important as people. You and I know otherwise. I’m so sorry that Spirit experienced this attack, and the memory will haunt you for a long time. Spirit will move on, however, and take you with him. That’s why “he found you”. I have posted this before, but maybe you’ll play it, again. I only feel the presence of “a God” when I’m in nature, and I can see God in my dog’s eyes so I relate to this little song. http://tinyurl.com/l5xp3t

    I loved Bozeman, Beartooth, Chief Joseph, too. Oh, how I long to go back, but my pup is not able to travel, yet. Your pictures, today, are outstanding. I felt as though I could almost walk right into them. Wishing you and Spirit safe and peaceful travels…and healing.

  2. Sandra Begotka Says:

    I’ve encountered similar situations quite often….. as in persons not being respectfully responsible for their dogs. Even though my dogs are 20lbs I always consider that all people may not have as warm a feeling toward dogs. Some people have been bitten, are fearful. Also, not all dogs are ready to socialize in a completely friendly manner with other dogs. Dogs do not operate always on the same social parameters has humans….and so it is up to the humans to be the ambassadors and avoid situations where dogs might injure one another or people.
    Unfortunately some do not recognize this and probably would be better off to not have a dog until they work on expanding their own consciousness.
    Glad no one got physically injured. Happy tails and trails. 😉

  3. Bob Says:

    Ara – Great stuff. Loved the pics and video of Beartooth pass. While you are up there give yourself a real treat and drive up to Glacier National Park and drive the Going to the Sun Highway.
    After that, head west on Highway 2 (northern cascades highway) and take the drive all the way across Northern Wshington. You will thank me if you do it.
    Don’t let the idiots grind you down and don’t be surprised when you run into them. They are everywhere. Most people share your spirit and that’s what really matters.

  4. Bill Says:

    Hi Ara,

    I spent a summer in Red Lodge while I was working south of Belfry. What a place to live, at least in the summer. Beartooth Highway and Yellowstone are two of my favorite places and your great photos bring back really good memories.


  5. Jeff & Sandra Says:

    We know you and Spirit have moved on from a bummer that was no fault of your own. Seems to be one advantage of enjoying the freedom of the road. Forgive, ‘turn away’ and move on. Recently, we have been bitten by issues including assisted living, dementia, rehab for my Dad and Sandra’s Mom, and, settling my mother’s estate. Less physical pain as you and Spirit have experienced but still very painful mentally. We are so happy your adventure has moved on to something wonderful. We look forward to same soon. Embrace the plan as it is perfect. Take good care!

  6. Joans Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant some people can be when it comes to dog behaviour. If you know you have an aggressive or nervous dog, you just shouldn’t let them run loose around other dogs, especially when the other dogs have manners and are on a leash. Unfortunately, what you and Spirit experienced happens many times every day all over this planet. I don’t blame the dogs, I blame their owners. As a matter of fact, I feel sorry for the dog that went after Spirit. Imagine what his poor life must be like–living with a stupified alcoholic.

  7. Nick Plenzick Says:

    A few years ago our Lab was attacked at a campground in Jackson WY. Owners had an aggressive dog in their trailer with only a screen door separating him from the outside world with no one home. He went threw the door an attacked our dog for no reason at all. When the owners returned back to their trailer they did pay for the vet bills, but that was no consolation for the eight stitches that Rufus got. If these owners just would have kept the door to the trailer closed this would have never happen. Glad you an Spirit or OK and you guys will be missed next week at the BMWMOA.

  8. texascindy Says:

    Spirit, I am sorry you had a run in with another dog that obviously has not been taught any manners. It’s apparent his human counterpart hasn’t been, either. I’m thinking that the other guy probably felt threatened by you and was probably only protecting his area. You have done the same but with much more grace and humility. Besides, your human is a much more civilized one and has taught you well. Happy trails and hopefully you won’t have any more unpleasantness for a while.

  9. scruffy Says:

    the extension of ‘friendship’ is at best a risky business~ so worth the time when it works with continued mutual respect. Travel well Ara, and give Spirit a pat for me~

  10. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara & Spirit, So many words of wisdom and love already, I just want to say I don’t like to miss a single one of your posts or magnificent pictures. You and Spirit are both wise men of the world, I am always amazed at how you manage to steer through the challenges of weather, people, critters, breakdowns, etc. and keep your sense of adventure and faith in nature and human nature.
    We’ve been busy with family as Randy’s brother Gordon, a fine man, passed away last week. A high school biology teacher and farmer, he loved his family and students, people in general, nature, animals, all God’s living things. He and his wife, Barbara, took in many homeless animals on their farm, and he asked that those wanting to contribute to a memorial contribute to the animal shelter of their choice.
    Ride on in safety, wonder and love,
    Zelda (Pam)

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