Spirit and Old Faithful… TX

Monday, March 27th, 2017

"It sounded like a good idea at the time…"


One might sometimes think about turning a page and life will go on, differently than before, yet on a path only slightly veering to the right or the left. A few steps on that new path as I did turn a new page, I am now realizing this is a whole new chapter. I feel compelled sharing this. We have many Friends and acquaintances reading these pages, especially many in love with Mr. Spirit and sure, the sidecar also, yet, "that" just being a thing even if to me it has its own soul. To put it bluntly, Spirit is not doing well in the sidecar.

Mr Spirit  PCTB 23 

It is not quite a new aspect. It has progressively been getting worse and now, today, I feel as I cannot put him through a ride again. He shakes and trembles with an uncontrollable tremor when we are at a stop and especially when gearing up. He hesitates jumping on his seat. I know he has done it lately only because I verbally pushed him into it. Talking to him, hugging him while he is sitting, petting him, none has had any effects on him. We never went for a ride the last time, I truthfully thought he was going to have a heart attack and quickly got him out of the sidecar. The engine was not even running.


Did I know this day was coming? Yes, of course. I just heard of rider’s dog, a golden lab who also rode in a sidecar pass away at the age of 12. It shocked me and brought up a resemblance of a past reality experienced twice. Spirit is anywhere between 12 and 13, he is my third buddy throughout my Life. Dogs don’t live long. Being a rescue dog we do not exactly know his birth year. He is doing fine otherwise, just has slowed down a bit as I have and not jumping as high, not as graciously as he did in years past. Of course not. Fortunately a Friend of ours has offered to store our trailer/sidecar for a few months while we head North with only the camper. There is no doubt I will miss the riding with him, these might very well be his last photos sitting in his chair, yet, that is not what concerns me. His well being is what’s on my mind. Maybe this will change when we come back South in a few months?

Spirit SM only-01_wm

I am myself at times just not aging gracefully. I don’t seem to find "that lane" on which I should now be traveling on. I keep hitting those red cones placed obviously as warnings. I know everything is going to be alright but there is hesitation which is foreign to me. Maybe it is "The Road", that prescription, that daily dosage much needed which has been absent for too long even if we have and are taking little what I call "journeys" here and there. I have written about it all already quite a few times and normally my own writing appeases me, opens the needed doors, brings me back up to the surface but seemingly not this time. I am definitely not complaining! I have given myself a departure date from East Texas. April 1st and it is not an April fool’s joke. One more stop in Alpine to see my General Practitioner Medical Doctor and the direction will turn North. I just know "things" are not as before and will they ever be?

Snow riding

Is there a hidden technique for aging gracefully? I don’t seem to find that book either. Everything has slowed down. I know that my surgeries are in a way the culprits even if the healing has taken most of the physical pains away but the gears have shifted. The endurance too slowly is coming back and hikes instead might just be what "we" need. There is also a matter of safety leaving a camper behind while riding all day I have written about once or twice. Much theft on BLM and National Forests lands these days. I feel uncomfortable leaving all behind for the day unattended and go riding. It is a sad state of affairs. What to do? Comply with the changing tides. Maybe all this is happening for a reason? I always feel it generally does.

Classic Spirit C PCTB xxx

I don’t feel as I am connecting anymore. The few exchanges on Social Media seem hollow and lacking substance. I find a quantity aspect versus quality. I am missing more than ever the "tête a tête" with our few Friends remaining. The ones that still have the time, take the time for a real phone conversation and not just a blurb thrown into space for the world to see and read. I feel as I have gone in full circle from years past. Leaving 10 years or so ago without a cell phone [smart phone?] our Social Media [since that is what I have to call it…] being when people met on the road. We then as I guess as most of us did get "sucked in" the turmoil, the Internet Jungle as I so often call it. How cool is it to be in touch with so many names from just the clicks of a keyboard? What a novelty that was! Does not seem that "cool" anymore. The sharing does but the true mindset exchanges seem to have disappeared as I also notice so few read anymore but only skim the surface of the words and ask questions when the answers are written within those same words. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Seemingly all a superficial current going nowhere…

Spirit's Eye - Copy

It is not the names, the people, it is the fashion we are going about it. I have been watching a documentary of this man who until today has no smart phone and has never been on the Internet. It sure brought back ancient years images. We forgot what it is to travel miles to meet with "one quality Friend" and have a cup of coffee together or dinner or whatever for real true to Life exchanges filling the spirit with true food for the mind. Those were real Journeys. Quality Journeys. Ones we anticipated, experienced and afterwards content of it all thinking about it for days. I miss that…

Spirit in the green... - Copy

Sharing is one thing, boosting is another so prevalent these days. Then again, it could be human nature to do so… I know that as I am seeing a new "starting line", our upcoming journey will be quite different from the past one.  New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and more… Those names dance in front of me and the smile is present.

Spirit The Rock C

Stay well,
              Ara and Spirit

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14 Responses to “Spirit and Old Faithful… TX”

  1. texascindy Says:

    You know better than most that dogs sense things that humans can’t. (I remember your trip to Indianhead and that Spirtit would go down the trail.) He knows that it is time to put the bike away. As hard as that is…Much love and many hugs to you both, my dear friends.

  2. Bob Peek Says:

    Stay well Ara and Spirit

    Thoughts of you both, are always with me


  3. Bob Peek Says:

    Stay well Ara and Spirit


  4. Zelda (Pam) Says:

    Dear Ara,

    I read this post with tears in my eyes. We travelled a similar route with Natasha, but eventually she couldn’t get comfortable in the truck, so we didn’t subject her to that. Finally had to board her when my Mom got sick and we had to go see her without Natasha. At her age, about 14 or 15, boarding took a toll on her. With arthritis and pain medication, she did not want to move much. We knew she would not get better. Please know that we are still travelling with you in our imaginations. Will look for you in Colorado in August!


  5. Randy Says:

    Hugs and scratches my friends.

  6. Donna Says:

    Your thoughts have crossed my mind many times as the years have gone by, m’friend. None of us have figured out have to reverse time only how to go gracefully in step with it. Our animal friends never live long enough but the time we are allowed to spend with them is forever cherished. Much love to you both.

  7. Andrea Van Vorhis Says:

    I do not read your journal often enough, but when I do, I am reminded of what is good and true in this life. My heart goes out to both of you (it’s hard not to think of you as “one”). Your journey will continue in a different way, and that’s OK. Life is a constant giving and receiving, accepting and letting go, moving forward and leaving behind…. so difficult at times, I know. I hope you know that even when you don’t feel connected to the people in your life, the connection is there. And I hope every so often it gives you peace. Give Spirit a kiss for me. Love you both.

  8. john Says:

    New chapters in life can be written in any fashion…

  9. skicogar Says:

    sad to see that you seem to be slowing down now, but you have been quite an inspiration since you first popped up on Teton gravity research forums. your journey much like your book has been a definite inspiration for me. most never really lived life like you two are and every time I come here, it reminds me of that.

  10. Jackie Mason Says:

    Ara, your sharing stories are very awesome and photos also very nice. That’s why your blog was named in our list of Top 100 motorcycle blogs.



  11. Will of the mountains Says:

    You are both an inspiration to many, including me. I agree, the connections of today with social media can indeed be shallow at times, though it also gives a much larger world to many of us, that we would not likely have ever been aware of. Your journeys, of body and soul, have reached many that youll never know of, and inspired the soul to greater heights of possibility.

    Blessings to you both, friends.

  12. Steve Williams Says:

    It’s always a bit unsettling to notice the march of time. Especially with dogs in the family. They burn so bright and then, well, they fade I suppose. Having lived with dogs for almost 60 years, I’m full of dazzling memories. But it’s colored slightly with the sadness of loss.

    Seems like I’ve been following you and Spirit forever now. Learning that he’s no longer fit for the sidecar almost made me cry. In part thinking of the reality of this in your life, and perhaps in great measure, how it reflects on the aging I see in my dog as he approaches age 9.

    Your life on the road must make it difficult to stay connected. I feel fortunate to have two or three people that I call “friend” — the people I can call in the middle of the night and ask them to come retrieve me on the road, or save me from myself. If I were a nomad I don’t think I would have been able to build those relationships. Connecting with people isn’t my strong suit. I’m grateful to those who I have connected with that accept my idiosyncrasies…

    I hope you find some peace with the things you’ve described. I wish I had some magic formula but as you’ve said, it’s the journey.

    Pat that dog on the head for me.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  13. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank you Steve. Yes, you and I go way back before the beginning of time it seems like and we yet have to meet. Hopefully we will some day.
    Yes, I cherish my Friends, Friendships are nurtured, sometimes they grow and at other times they wilt. It is a tough Society right now for Friendships but I feel fortunate.
    Camper only is doing well I must say when I think of the alternative except when we saw a sidecar yesterday! Can’t have it all and this is a great too comfy compromise.
    Thanks always for writing.
    Have a great day.

  14. Vance and Jenny (Liz) Says:

    Hey Ara!

    Much love to you and Spirit. If you get to Santa Maria CA, would love to see you again. We still have the place in GA, but are here now too. 🙂

    Vance and Liz

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