Romancing “Sherpa” in “Terlingua Abaja”. TX

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

“My  Personal Daily Therapy, published Weekly or so…”

“I surveyed my past and saw only blind striving; I played out my future and saw an abyss and I jumped. This is were I landed.” ~ Philip Connors ~ [Fire Season]

One more of my morning background music.


Sunrise-4 xxx 

Before Sunrise at Santa Helena Canyon


Hot is is, the solar fan is only blowing hotter air, my two gallon sun shower has been up for a while now, hanging, and all at the same time on the hour I burn my freshly shaved head from a water too hot and freezes it as the wind blowing has then that effect. I am starting to think if my head is swelling up and then shrinking and what could be the result? I am laughing inside, silliness, as I know it is the heat throwing in a curve of rhetorical questions not quite making much sense. This is how it goes while in the Desert heat. Everything else is taking shape here. I even split some wood with my sharpened hatchet without hurting myself. For what reasons I yet have to figure out. Maybe soon the ban on fires will be lifted and I can start practicing smoking some chicken or a pork loin maybe. Resume making my bread in the Dutch Oven. Grilling.

the -green giant-

the -green giant--3

"Old Faithful" is parked and tucked into "Green Giant" today, the 40 foot long bowling alley lane where I always think something, someone, is hiding in it. A bird was the other day. I call him "bird". He is the only one around and comes to see us every day. I have been as close to him as ten feet maybe, whistling and talking, I don’t know if he can become a Friend. I keep hoping. I think it is again the heat. Those thoughts. Nothing wrong with "Old Faithful". No worries I have. And yes, we are taking "Sherpa". I feel strange about it all, a bit like a traitor and yet I am thinking "Old Faithful" deserves a break, she can rest in the shade. I kind of like "Sherpa" with the ECamper also though. She has not gone anywhere around here yet per say. It is easy. A couple big and tough Tupperware boxes and everything goes in it. We even have a cooler which I only use as a food box. I will not and cannot deal with ice. No helmet, no gloves, no boots either, we will just sit in it and go. What a concept!

Aqua Fria Rd at Sunrise_-12

Sherpa xxx


We are now set up, but not where I wanted to go. The road to Mariscal Mine was alright for a while only because Sherpa is all wheel drive when needed and high clearance, but when the sight of half a road appeared, that was that. I am sure someone with more experience could have and would have gone through. To make the matters worse, a third of the remaining road was slanted by the drop. I think, feel like it anyhow, that I have driven all day as we end up on the other side of the Park, at "Terlingua Trabaja". This is after going back to "Panther Junction" to change our campsite designation. Primitive campsites here are assigned very precisely ahead of time and they are good for 14 days, 28 days throughout a calendar year. Without this ancient tarp that I have kept from over ten years ago, called the "Stingray 14" by Mountain Hardware, of course discontinued, we would have not been able to stay. It is HOT, yet bearable in the shade with a wet bandana, and a good book and some food. The Solar system from GoalZero is working well, not much need for it actually this time around, but as I recharge my lantern and phone to write on, it is a handy concept.

Goal Zero solar at work-2

Goal Zero solar at work-3

I am drained totally from this week’s emotions. I am or more feel empty, I needed a change of scenery even if it is a bit warmer here. Just a couple nights, they are predicting 100 in a few days. I take cover now next to Spirit in the shade of the car. Of course it is cooler. He is smarter. Once in a while a breeze comes through. Once in a while. I am thinking Colorado! The moment escapes me from this harsh Desert. With no shade and no water survival is not very certain. Tomorrow we will go to Santa Helena Canyon for the Sunrise, we have never been there for it. Maybe the day will be cooler.

Dinner at Camp-4

Dinner at Camp-5

I will have the recipes up soon in a new section… we are working on it! November First?

Basmati Chicken Sundried tomato FT page

I am also thinking about The Oasis. The tent area is now cleaned up. Our only Base Camp in this whole country.Yet Mother Nature dictates our stay and so does my need to not stay there as now and go on. Only missing it so quickly. Not much makes sense, I wonder. I am confused these days. A winter nest, could not be any better. I stop trying to understand myself. Only go with the flow, a flow which has been so fortunate and generous, I have to admit it, inside out.

Sunrise-2 xxx

Sunrise-6 xxx

Using Sherpa is too easy. The sleeping bag is always ready, so is the chair and the tripod. Everything is including the stove. The camper opens in less than one minute, closes in about the same amount of time. Nice screens for some cool air throughout the night. Spirit has to sleep down below, that is the only part I don’t like. If he was lighter I would lift him but at 60lbs it is a bit too much for me. Sherpa did well though the washes that have been repaired but yet have a foot and a half to two feet drops. Amazing how the all wheel drive kicks in when needed. I am not a very good driver just needing remembering to remember where the wheels are!

Moon setting

Santa Helena Canyon-3 xxx

The morning was magical. So much "magic" in our Life. I was alone with Spirit. No one showed up. I guess no one was interested in a Sunrise at Santa Elena Canyon. We witnessed the Moon getting away behind the cliffs, a Moon which seemed as bright as the Sun, turning around to watch the light slowly emerging from the darkness and then the glorious Sun taking it’s time to emerge. The coolness of the early morning did not last long. I broke camp upon our return. We were not going to endure this heat again, we were not either going to spend the day driving around with Sherpa and the air on. We are back at "The Oasis". No regrets, that morning will always be imprinted in my memory. Slightly cooling off… I think winter is going to drop on us like a brick.

Santa Helena Canyon-7 xxx

Sunrise-11 xxx

Till next time.

"I have been juggling my Book, my “one-pan recipes”, “Spirit” and myself and also Smugmug is starting too look good if I may say so myself with now 6 Galleries. There will be more, adding daily as I go through these past years photos…”

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

Be well, always.

Ara & Spirit

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21 Responses to “Romancing “Sherpa” in “Terlingua Abaja”. TX”

  1. Dani Says:

    Ara – thank you. Stunning photo’s as always. And the Sherpa looks brilliant – nothing like that here 🙁

    So glad you made it back to the Oasis.

    Now, please hurry up with the one pan recipe page… 🙂

  2. Bob Says:

    Love the morning music. It fit my mood well, but I really like the name you gave your Element. Perfect. I have been thinking about getting one of these for awhile. Maybe someday. I enjoy the blog!

  3. Justin Barron Says:

    Always thought Santa Elena canyon was a beautiful place, no matter what time of year or day. It’s even better when experienced in solitude, which I have only had the pleasure of once. Will surely be making the trip there again soon. Glad to hear “Sherpa” is working out good so far for both of you!

  4. Cyndi and Stumpy Says:

    WOW! You did work hard, this week! The Green Giant is spotless! I’m thinking Old Faithful is happy keeping the Green Giant company and enjoying a well deserved rest.

    Santa Elena Canyon is now on the list! Magical is a great description but truly, there are no words… I hope you will go back, soon, when the temperatures drop a bit and share more of the magic with us!

    Cyndi & Stumpy @ RVly Ever After

  5. Justin Barron Says:

    Forgot to mention…LOVE this music track!

  6. heyduke50 Says:

    i love the last three shots of santa elena canyon and am very glad to see water in the canyon… thanks for dropping by my blog today but i must confess… the only reason we headed out east was because my soul mate had never traveled the east coast… we traveled from key west to camden maine sow we are now slowly making our way out to the promised land… the western usa… big bend and beyond…

    take care…

  7. Rhonda Says:

    I don’t envy the heat you are roasting in. It seems that you are making the best of it. I’m really excited for the one pan recipe addition (no surprise).

  8. Randy Says:

    Great post enjoyed it tremendously. I have not been an early sun rise person but Zelda and I watched it go from dark to day in the Valley of Fire State Park, NV thinking of your experiences. You’ve converted us.

  9. McBe Says:

    Just curious … Can you comment on the differences (likes/dislikes) between the E-camper versus a light weight truck camper?

  10. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Wow… The ECamper is like having a 60 seconds up tent on a 4×4. A camper, well, you can have everything in it. I think it is a matter of taste, gas mileage? Thanks for asking.

  11. Ara & Spirit Says:

    That is a good conversion! Valley of Fire at Sunset is on… Fire!!! The reds are incredible… Thank you all always for your support. See you soon?

  12. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Hi Rhonda… Yes, we (I !!!) working on it. Justin, our “webmaster” also is diligently. It is logistically difficult, for me anyhow… soon and “thanks” for writing. They say cooler tomorrow… we truly have had it with the heat!

  13. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Hi Cyndy and Stumpy… the “Dirtville” duo! The destinations are endless… and each, more than once! Talk soon…

  14. texascindy Says:

    I’m surprised to hear the road to the Mines is in such poor shape. I guess what little rain Big Bend has seen has been enough to do some damage. Ground is so hard and dry it can’t soak it in so it just runs off. Hope its repaired soon. I was hoping to do it at new years. Here’s to cooler weather!

  15. hobopals Says:

    I am mesmerized by your thoughts and pictures. Love that Sherpa is affording you and Spirit some shelter from the heat. You have a choice to endure, but he doesn’t and I’m glad you’re always thinking of his comfort. You’ve got one cookbook sold! Stay well. Love to Spirit.

  16. Dee Says:

    Even though Old Faithful looks forlorn, Sherpa looks great! The “bird” will keep Old Faithful company, and keep the “things” out of the bowling alley! Or bring in more birds! You’ve got more orders for those recipes right here…I can hardly wait. I will now start using my kitchen again! Wash the cobwebs off the pans and get the old wooden spoon out once more. May need a ladder and lessons for Spirit to climb up to the top section of Sherpa (-: Loved the running video – watch it all the time! That handsome chap can REALLY run!

  17. Dick (dharmabum) Says:


    The simple fact that someone knew the song, the singer, and the title is a testament to your fan base and the joy you spread.

    Dick and Dakota Skye

  18. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Yes, I think that was very very nice. Now we “know”.
    Thank you “Vee”. Hugs back, we can all use “Hugs”.
    And “George”, I e mailed you, and “thank you” again. That was great research.
    Ara and Spirit

  19. hobopals Says:

    Will you share the title of your morning music. It plays over and over again in my head. Thanks, Ara.

  20. hobopals Says:

    Nevermind, Ara, I found it in your celebration of Lance’s life. I’ve been avoiding that post but I’m so glad I read your thoughts. Jack and I will be heading west in March. They are treating my back, and considering surgery which I will be grateful for–it will be heaven to be without pain.

    Whenever I look at Spirit, I feel as though he is a wise soul inside a dog’s body–he gets under my skin. I feel a sense of peace just as I feel when Jack, the miracle dog, is at my side.

    Thank you for the inspiration that you provide to so many. I’m honored to be among them.

  21. scruffy Says:

    wow, just now listened to this track of your morning music, wow! Sunrise indeed~ Thank you.

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