Some replies, Texas

Monday, October 6th, 2008

sunset a

I did not sleep too good last night, it rained a bit and the drops on the roof where just distinct enough to take me in a dreamland swarmed with bugs enveloping me in total darkness. I could not go back to sleep afterwards, not for a while anyhow, I felt at a stand still wondering what I was doing here. All day the wind has been blowing without a rest, reminding me of a western movie, it’s set basting in the harsh sun, the lone downtown street, and with the screened windows open all around me here, its howling as maybe a couple guitar chords will be heard and some gunfighters will show up to exchange their final vows. It has been a strange day as I know they will keep coming throughout these near future times.

sunrise a 

I so much wish often my own awareness would just go away, not feel a thing. At the same time I know I would not want to be that person. As much as we have been on the road, vagabonding here and there, it has only heightened my senses, and regardless of its beauty surrounding me, I am finding right now riding this valley, a bit dark where light however is not needed as it has become so familiar to me. Nature’s clock has moved its hands once again in this zone so hard to emerge from for as much effort I put in to escape it. Lance’s Birthday coming up more than ever has already set a stamp on my nights and days, maybe more here as it is only us with no escape off this stage. I had mailed some pictures of his youth to my Friend Brian to have them scanned and e mailed back to me as he did, and as our eyes locked with each other, the emotions just have been too much for this day. Maybe it was not such a good idea going back so many years, so many and reliving the moments I actually took those at the time such innocent and happy photos.

rig a

It is a time when the curtain falls and as much as I try to peak through its hole I am having a hard time seeing the stage behind it. I probably would have packed the tent and sleeping bag today and gone away embracing those blue ribbons called the roads to escapism, but for some reason "Old Faithful" is sick. Not out of commission and not limping yet but in no shape to go any distance as I wish I could right now. I had started its maintenance this morning and after its oil change I set up to adjust the throttle bodies as she has been running a bit rough, and using more fuel. A familiar sound made its presence, and sure enough after the listening to the right throttle body and its clicking noise I could not adjust it in any shape or form. It has lived. The previous ones were changed 132,000 miles ago, I am not complaining. Finally the clutch has started to slip in 4th and 5th gear with a strong turn of the throttle… How do we fix all this? When? Where?…

rig c  

My new wheel and tire has been leaking air, the old one is back on and wearing down a knobby tire that seems to be disappearing by the mile. My front tire will be changed Tuesday, the only positive aspect of it all. It all feels kind off like a "stand still" right now. I do have hope as it has happened in the past that Karma will show us the way on how to be mobile again, long ways mobile that is. In the meantime I thought I was also having problems with the solar system. It turns out simply that I was using too much power and I learned very quickly these past two days to do a lot off line as to not have the Dish and modem on. Photography, "e mail" through "Thunderbird" and writing just about anything including these words using "windows live writer". Seems to be working now, solar is not magic but an expensive source of limited power unless having a huge system.

rig d  

With a handle calling herself  "Texas Shadow", we have now been exchanging "words and thoughts" for the past two years. I read her often, "Texas Shadow" is as my counterpart in many ways, but yet not as us vagabonding year round. I am sure with no doubts that her time will come and maybe as we have done, she will just take it. Her thoughts so often mirrors mine that I felt compelled to post them here as I also do when from other Friends.

As I had written:

"We have been going on many walks lately. Getting over this sense of responsibility being here and somehow for some reason feeling different than just setting up camp anywhere."

She replied:

I think I understand this feeling. Being a nomad at heart, living and wandering around the country, there is still a sense, perhaps a need, to have a connection somewhere that is more permanent, but not everlasting or binding. I think that is why I’ve always felt the need to have a ‘base camp’, so to speak. A place I can call mine that I can always come back to, yet not be bound or chained to.
Perhaps the key to this dichotomy is simplicity. In contrast to most modern residences these days where people are bound to (although I prefer the term ‘chained’) because of the degree of investment, both financially and materially, a simple home base can provide that sanctuary that one (aka us nomads) can always go back to.
It’s like the cave or den that the roaming wolf always returns to when wounded, to take shelter, provide protection, to enjoy a relaxing meal or night of sleep, a comforting escape: a sanctuary.
It doesn’t need to be elaborate, complicated and full of ‘things’. But what it does need to have is a sense of place, a place where you feel connected and at peace. Whether a teepee, yurt, tent, small adobe….. all it needs is you. And that it is yours.
Despite all of our traveling and wandering, even vagabonds need a ‘home’. A place to return to. And it will be with you no matter where you are.

[And also quoting Texas Shadow’s own quote] "The road stays still, it’s the travelers that moves….when they stare down into their futures, back into their pasts and almost, sort of, realize their role, kinda understand that until it’s traveled, this road is no more than ink on a map, notes on a score, words on a page, than need to be felt, whistled, read into life." – Dan Walsh

Today I thought I did not want to be here, the emotions wanted to open a path to escape, but escape where as they are within me and will stay within me forever. And I read her words realizing truly there is not better place I could be. This is the place to feel, this is "The Oasis" where I can reflect upon it all, good or bad, the hard times and I know also as there will be many good times.

rig e  

As "Colorado Kid" writes also, her name makes me smile and makes me realize that if myself I inspire and create hope for other’s Journeys, I better stand stronger on my own two feet and, as I remembered an old expression of mine "grab the bull by the horns". I can only try as I do…

"Geez, Ara, what more could one want? Beautiful country, a cozy home, an adventure machine to get out and about, and a true friend named Spirit. Oh yes, and frittatas and the joys of simplicity? And I’m sure you will have many friends coming your way to visit on winter days. You continue to inspire and create hope. Best wishes for you on Lance’s birthday, I’m sure he’s smiling down on you with great Peace."

trailer b  

Zelda wrote us…

"Hi, Ara & Spirit,
I have been traveling with you quietly for a few months now, thanks to your wonderful photography of nature’s wonders and of friends, both human and animal. I am also with you through your words in your search for meaning in the events of your Life. Please know how so many of your reflections strike a common chord with your fellow travelers. What courage and optimism in humanity you have to share your innermost thoughts, joys, fears and woes with us! The Great Spirit manifest in Nature is so much broader than our poor human thoughts and words. However, I feel your postings in words and pictures really bring us closer to this Great Spirit of Nature. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us! We would love to visit you in the next few months!"

Thank you also. We are Human… and as I myself succumb to the harsh realities, they can tear up the clothe of the day and the night and I can only try to mend it back over and over, hopefully ending up with a tighter canvas and brighter colors a bit longer lasting with every day passing by.  This day is also coming to an end and last night’s rain is back replaced by a mild storm with cooler air and the unmistakable smell of dirt and water mixed in as the scent of Nature. One day at the time, we can always "fix" what is broken… so sad that we cannot never replace what is missing forever.

solar a  
solar b  

Someone ask me for more details regarding our solar system and so here it is. 4 x 225Amp 6Volt Golf Cart batteries, 1500W pure sine wave inverter, a solar boost 2000E regulator showing "battery voltage", "solar panel current" and "output charge current", and on the roof 2 removable 125W solar panels. There is also a converter. More details? I am learning what all this means, including wattage and amps and voltage… Such little I know besides cooking!


Two years 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 a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.

Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute…

Be well, always. Ara & Spirit


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3 Responses to “Some replies, Texas”

  1. Colorado Kid Says:

    Hi Ara and Spirit! Colorado Kid is a she, but that’s not important, what matters is that I think you’re feeling the letdown of being stationary and with no physical destination right now, you’re there! Life on the road carries it’s own raison d’etre, and life not on the road also does, but it’s really different, and it can sometimes feel a bit desolate and empty after the travel.

    So…time to examine yourself even deeper, maybe you’re a real full-time drifter and really do belong on the road. Maybe you might be happier spending a few weeks with the White Elephant instead of the entire winter, then returning after another few weeks, that sort of thing. I believe that the real drifter is more in in tune with our ancestors, the hunters and gatherers, who stayed only where and when they wanted. True freedom.

    Plans can change, maybe it would be good to spend Lance’s birthday on the road. Just a thought. All my best to some of my fav friends, Ara and Spirit.

  2. James NomadRip Says:

    It’s just a mild change. Change often is a tough pill to swallow. You’ll figure out what works best for you and Spirit and how to balance your time there versus being on the road.

  3. texascindy Says:

    Ara, I can only imagine how “stranded” you must feel with Old Faithful being out of commission for a while. It must be frustrating knowing what you need but not knowing where to get it that isn’t hundreds of miles away. But, that is big Bend for you. Maybe she’s trying to teach you that you need to stay put for a bit and learn how to find peace while entering into this phase of your life. “Be still and know that I am God.” Ps 46:10 KJV and “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil 4:11 KJV I don’t mean to preach or take a “holier than thou” stance but these verses came to mind. They help me stay grounded.

    I wish you only the best. I think you’re in the best place to find out just exactly what that is. I’m thinking of you, Spirit and Lance. Be happy. You deserve it.

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