Life in Moab… Utah

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

And I am telling myself  “Oh! no… we are still in Utah!”. A hard State to leave as Moab itself does not make it easy to part with. Too much of a good time, even in sporadic bad weather, a refreshing facet. The counterpart of it all right now is the fact that after a Z-Pack and now 6 days of more antibiotics with 4 more to go, nothing has been solved in the pain situation. Tooth? Teeth? Ear? Sinus? Gums?… Annoying discomfort to put it mildly. I just don’t know which route to take, who is going to finally discover the right key for this locked door? But the days go on trying to ignore the annoyance. I like Moab. Many come and go through, a quick burger maybe, a motel room for a couple nights, much riding and the visit is over. Not for us.


The surroundings of course are unique. One can flip a coin or blindly set a finger on a map to discover ageless beauty throughout those red rock formations, all laid out in front of us as a result of millions of years of erosion, hard work from Mother Nature. It truly does not get any better than this. We however have not been many places yet, meaning not much mileage covered. We met Andre here and his Friend, now mine also, Curtis, all in the middle of a campground buzzing with a multitude of 4 x 4’s, some beautiful toys, each unique as their owner coming to this destination to test their ultimate off road soldiers.

4x4 a 4x4 b
Andre's bicycle Jeep

It was a good time, eyes wide open it is always surprises that I see having never owned such a vehicle, eyes wide open also, their owners having never owned such a rig as Old Faithful, and we all got along really well. A great community, always ready to talk about the specifics of it all, even if at time I have to confess, I could not understand much off their technical jargon. But the passion is there always amongst us, “us” that love the outdoor no matter what vehicle we use or for that matter can afford. My favorite was this Land Cruiser below, a young couple having inherited the vehicle from his father and finally “his dream come through” for the both of them was on the road toward their own slice of freedom.

Landcruiser a

Landcruiser b  

I spoke to them a bit, their eyes where sparkling of joy, of pride, happiness on the road, I felt what they felt, I had been feeling it myself for a while now. Light on their feet I don’t even think their were touching the ground while proudly displaying this beautifully appointed vehicle. So self contained, comfort, the ability to go just about anywhere and as I often think “photography”, what a great literally platform to be there waiting for the perfect shot, awaiting for the next sunrise and sunset.

4x4 d rubber glove

It seems that Andre opened up many doors for us through his local acquaintances and we are thankful for it. It was first a Birthday Dinner for one of his Artist Friend, Adel Alsop, a great time, great food, conversations to no end, maybe the reason for the late dinner around 11pm! The “coup de grace” however was another get together in Castle Valley, just a few miles east of Moab, at the home of Michael Ford Dunton, nicknamed “Stoke” and Christie Williams, the program director for the local Radio Station KZMU. This is turning out to be one of my favorite photo.

outdoor living room

It all seems so surreal. An outdoor living room, a planted potted transitional tree and behind it all, almost as a delicate painted set, a landscape with all the elements always admired including a short rainbow. One might even say this has been through “photo shop”! It striked me at the time as it does now, such an unnatural “natural” setting. “Stoke” makes sculptures. Not any sculptures, this one is his latest…

the sculpture  
nightime sculpture a  

A mere two tons of metal and rock… all so delicately balanced, it’s shape and curves blending in with Mother Nature’s own form, it’s stamina even swaying in the wind as almost to let us know of it’s presence and livelihood. What imagination and what talent. It was eye candy all evening while also around his past work and their home itself, well, this is a home I could live in.

window view a  
window view b  

Castle Valley is a bit of Paradise I found tucked away with their few residents which also came by for this get together we had the good fortune to be present at. My own highest form of Art I always admire is Nature’s surrounding us, and yet, throughout the house, in fluid forms, displayed were Stoke’s past masterpieces starting as early within the driveway leading to their dwelling.

white drop 

king's throne indoor sculpture a
indoor sculpture b indoor sculpture c

And the fun did not stop there as the day progressed and food made it’s appearance. My dreamed for months “rack of lamb” almost blurred my vision and strangled my taste buds. It seems that because of my past profession I am always called in to put in my two cents, on this occasion grilling to perfection the herb crusted victim with it’s companion, a home made mint sauce with real mint sprigs, mint jelly and balsamic vinegar, all suddenly appearing as on cue!

in the kitchen  

What else can I say but ” a good time”. This is Life on the Road as I see it. This is it’s intricacies and yet at it’s simplest stage within the relationship of others only if one takes the time and let their path meeting Friends of Friends, stepping for a while within their own path when graciously invited to share their own space, a space in this instance filled with so much Peace and Love.

sculpture a sculpture d

A slice of our Life here, another slice of the pie, an unexpected turn of events, as everyday within these moments are always can I say “outstanding”? Our freedom invites the diversity of our surroundings and people are becoming such a big part of it all. Friends we might never see again or maybe in moments down this path, who knows… I do know that our hearts bond together with many, that string that will never vanish holds up closely regardless of any physical distance we might create as time passes by.

bicycle b split head

Almost three years 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.

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

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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8 Responses to “Life in Moab… Utah”

  1. Jake Says:

    Ha! I had a feeling you were close. Too bad I did not spot you as I was down a few spots from the rigs pictured above. I hope you were under shelter for that nasty downpour Saturday. Thank you for sharing your stories and images with us.
    Good luck and good health to you.

  2. Pat Says:

    I enjoyed your views of Mike/Stoke’s home and sculptures. He is my grand nephew (my only sister’s only son). I live back in a manicured, pristine high rise of Bethesda,Maryland,just 10 miles North from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, one mile from Bethesda Naval Hospital and the National Institute of Health (NIH) campus. Have never seen Utah except to live in Salt Lake City for a year back in the 60’s. Mike’s vistas are indeed glorious and I have enjoyed your website.

  3. Vanessa Says:

    So wonderful… I love that you showed the 4×4 scene! Love it all… Happy Traveling!

  4. chessie Says:

    There is a lot I want to say to you about this piece. It’s very moving…and there are things you said I want to address… The background scenery from the outdoor living room is astounding…. brought tears to my eyes…
    Ara, I’ll write you…much to say…
    Be well,

  5. Berge Says:

    The photography here s absolutely amazing.
    God Bless you and your talent.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Ara, I have to say, all the beautiful art in those shots and I realized what I was really looking at were the pictures, your pictures… You truly have a gift.

  7. Ginny Says:

    Awesome sculptures! What a gorgeous setting to live in too! Love the outdoor loving room. Some people really have it all when living out in such gorgeous nature! I wish I was there! 🙂

  8. Ginny Says:

    uh that should be living room lol

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