The Dream? MT

Monday, August 31st, 2009
West Fork Rd  

So often I read such comments as “you are living the Dream… ” and other words in parallel to that notion. And I do appreciate it. It is a Dream I had promised to live. Most however do not know why we are on the road, why these words are of my outmost therapy, why I choose this versus the harsh world of medication… or counseling… or just the “say so’s…” and the “do so’s”, the “brush off’s” as I have heard them all, as well as being written to “get over it…”. It is a harsh World we live in. Why I have chosen to scrape day to day, scrounge for our needs so often, and yet not being the least bit disturbed from it all as my wealth is within. “My richness consists not in the extent of my possessions; but in the fewness of my wants.” J. Brotherton.


Yes, it has happened and I don’t feel a bit uneasy. I met a man yesterday, as the traveling path is always of an enlightening one, Jim who has also lost his Son, 13 years ago. There was a moment of silence between us when I learned about it, I right away felt that maybe my own feelings always have been a bit too… “deep” maybe is the word? As I asked him hesitating “do you still think about him every day?”. His glassy eyes replied with also a bit of a trembling voice “every day, every day…”. I had to look away to keep my own composure. This man also is in within his constant forward motion. Climbing Mount Everest to camp 5, horseback riding through South Africa, North Africa, member of a mountain rescue team in Scotland where he resides, and this time I caught him while again horseback riding from Wyoming to Montana.


We talked a lot, not enough, as I hope we will stay in touch through e-mail or e-voice. Thousands of miles away from each other our path of thoughts were so identical as he could have written himself these words present and from past chapters. It does not matter where one is from, not a foreign notion to me, but reinforced this past day. “You go on” he said, the good days start outweighing the bad days as time goes on, even if the frustration and those dead end mind sets keep visiting the moments past, present and future. 


And then I read this…”Ara, your photography is simply awesome.  However my friend, your commentary is a bit too abstract, too deep and is contradicting to the beauty of your photos. As I have found, one can best express themselves via photos or prose, but not both, as neither do justice to each other. I take your photos as your best work. As an admirer, I ask you to focus on them with detail at will –  what you see and what your image represents. Of course, I still want to see the smiling face of Spirit. Cheers brother.”

Belinda and Teri  

I grimace reading such comment, they are rare and then again I am sure they represent the opinion of many that would maybe prefer a brighter side on these pages, a better “entertainment” value, an in depth “ride report”… But, truly, they are bright pages, it is reality, it is awareness and not numbness. There are “peaks” and there are “valleys”. I do not hide the valleys with sometimes their tumultuous rapids rocking my thoughts. Reality encompasses the complete array of Life, the eternal balance and without one plate of the scale we would miss the other one, incomplete path since we are destined to live as we are. I have to say that it does me good to write, “let it all out” as the expression goes, without ever feeling or even thinking while locked into my cocoon in this mental background of mine of anyone that would pursue these words. Of course the so many eloquent comments are so welcome, they pave our road with an added and needed strength. The ones as above are also fine, I am sure if this gentleman and I would sit down and talk around a brightly lit fire, he would understand. And if not, I can only wish him the brightest path that could lay ahead of him. His own Dream.


Photos of last days in Ennis as with Jim, his guide was Belinda, as Teri called her, the true and real “cowgirl”. Her presence so strong, so Earthy and a kind heart as one rarely feels. We all had dinner together, it was the culmination of our stay at the Rusty Cowboy where an array of the best of the best of this summer path crossed us like magic. Ron Dakotah, Teri, Belinda, Jim, KC and Mia… I can just imagine how now Teri feels as the place is empty, no one in her backyard or in the tepee, no horses grazing besides hers, no more fun dinners and much of the teasing that ensued. But the memories, those unique moments, they will always be in our minds, never lost and always enjoyed.

Horseshoer Horseshoer
Horseshoer Horseshoer

We even had a chance to see another Friend of her’s, the “horseshoer”. Hard work, I had never witnessed or had even thought about what it would entail to keep those horses going. Young lady with seven children, traveling from city to city when the calls line up, how else would one attend this experience without this Life on the road.

West Fork  
West Fork Rd Spirit

We are in Bozeman right now, running errands, so we are still in Montana and for some strange reason I kept believing that when leaving Ennis we would live Montana. We kind of did. In a couple day we will join again Ron and his wagon and horses on 212. It is an amazing reminder to me that since he left, seemingly weeks ago, he has only covered 300 or so miles! We hope to be able to camp with him, we have much catching up to do. More photos are also from West Fork road, the couple dead end ones we wanted to return to, specially the meadow we found nearing at 9000 feet. But the weather the past couple days turned bad on us and will just have to come back next year, so much more to explore, as usual.

West Fork Rd  
West Fork Rd  

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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West Fork Rd  



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19 Responses to “The Dream? MT”

  1. Joseph Schmoe Says:

    Why do you blog? Is it for humanity, for ego, to share? For all of the above? I believe, after reading your blog, that it is for you. So you can heal, so you can cope and maybe understand. If that is so, only you can dictate your content. If I am not picking up your word, If it is too deep for me to deal with as I read, I have the option of just looking at the pictures. It is more important for you to write them than it is for me to read them.

    In other words Ara, do what you need to do, don’t change a thing.


  2. Fred Says:

    I have been reading your blog now for a little over a year. You my friend are a brilliant person. Your writing takes some getting used to, but when one does it is like we can feel every emotion you are experiencing. Combined with your beautiful photos, your blog is a work of art. Do not let it upset you those who may make a bad comment. For each of those readers, there is two fold at least who enjoy your blog. Please do not change a thing, you are doing just fine.

    Give Spirit a loving pat from me, and safe travels my friend.


  3. Norman Says:

    Ara, your blog belongs to you, others cannot dictate it’s content, or the words that travel through the canyons of your mind. Photography is eye of the photographers soul, written words are a road map of your soul, your mind, your heart. This blog is here for others to read or not read, it is their choice. Keep doing what feels right for you. Let them walk a mile in your shoes.

  4. Allen Says:

    Everyone is a self proclaimed critic. If they do not like it, the internet is a wide open space with many roads leading many directions. They can pick another and light a shuck for cover. Do not let the critics disturb you. The shallow do not appreciate the deep. Their loss. Your expressions are authentic and yours. Don’t change a thing.


  5. LaPettite Says:

    Dear Ara,

    In the words of Dr. Seuss “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

    If he truly did see the beauty in your photos, than he wouldn’t be commenting about your words. If you don’t like the channel, then change it. Period.

  6. Wandrin Says:

    This is your life…. This is your blog…. For whatever reason it is done, I for one enjoy it — both the words and the photos. Perhaps some days the words are deeper than I want to follow, but the beauty and human quality of the photos is always worth the visit.

    Live life. Love life. Live love.

    Wandrin Lloyd

  7. Louise Says:

    While the person who wrote that quote may have “meant well,” what with his calling you “friend” and “brother,” he/she needs a sharp kick in the ass. What he/she wrote is the equivalent of saying to someone’s face, “Hey, you are a good cook but I don’t like your voice. So, shut up and make me something to eat.” It is rude to pick and choose what you want someone to be like. People like that are “takers” not “givers” and you are wise to not let it touch your heart.

    There are some who prefer the photos and they can easily skim the text. Perhaps the words bring up painful memories. Or they are not interested in motorcycling. That’s fine, but why deliberately say so? Why take the effort to write a criticism? That’s just mean.

    We must each keep our own counsel. Draw from each day, each experience, each road and each blog what moves and strengthens us. The rest will just pass by, moving on to perhaps help another. None of us are perfect, yes?

  8. Melinda Says:

    While everyone is entitled to their own opinions and viewpoints, the commenter you referred to would probably have said to Archimedes or Galileo, “just show me your drawings of your ideas for inventions… I don’t want to hear your explanations of why you think they might work.” Your blog is a treasure, Ara, and one that brings pleasure and inspiration to so many of us, your readers. Thank you for it, and don’t change anything.
    Safe travels to you and Spirit always.

  9. Pat Says:

    Ara, you meet some of the neatest people. Wow….what a blessing! In just the past few weeks, the gentlemen up in the high country with the wagon, the bicycling familes, these cowboys……….who is the one dreaming here! Is it you or is it me……..the reader. I am awestruck that one man can be touched by so many people as well as touch so many. It is not hard to see why you savor every moment…………I sure would!
    God Love You!

  10. Doug Smith Says:

    You should never take offense to others’ opinions, They are just that…others’ opinions……We all process the external input and use it for what it is worth…..Personally, I try not to over analyze or over complicate life. I am comfortable with myself and my path and that’s good for me…..You are comfortable with yourself and your path…that is good for you. Don’t ever change to “fit” into someone elses’ box. We are who we are and to hell with others’ critique! We love ya brother…just like you are! Smitty

  11. Hawktane Says:

    I just happened to come across your blog and I have to say I’m already addicted to your writing, photos and journeys. Keep it up! You’re leading a beautiful life.

  12. admin Says:

    Just stopped by your blog to see what you are up to in Montana. So powerful to meet another soul who knows the same sorrow that you do and get the reinforcement that grief is something that each must deal with in their own way. What a gift for you both to know that there are other parents who understand the hole in your life that can never be filled. You just have to embroider the edges with the threads of memory so that the hole does not grow to take over your whole existence. That way you can display the beauty of what was and be grateful for the precious time that was, without being maudlin or pathetic or or whiny or needy. Just a parent who aches for the loss of their beloved child.

    I saw also the bit from the person who wanted you to “edit” your thoughts … or keep them to yourself and simply display your wonderful photos for his enjoyment. Well.
    PPPbbbbbthththt!!!, I say. The raspberry to him. This is YOUR blog and YOUR journey for YOUR reasons. To edit your thoughts would make them artificial. If I read a paragraph a time or two to be sure of it’s intent, I do it because I am interested in your feeling …. and sometimes there is a photo that brings it all into focus for me.
    Keep doing just as your feelings and your Spirit lead you. Pun intended!

    Be well, both of you.

    Carol & Jeff Savournin

  13. Colorado Kid Says:

    Ara, the photos have more depth because of your writing and vice versa. Don’t change a thing.

  14. Kathleen Says:

    Your writing and pictures perfectly reflect the sorrow, the pain, of suffering the loss of part of YOU, the best part of you. Losing a child is a wound that never heals.
    Yet, your writing and pictures also reflect the knowing: there is life to be lived and beauty to be appreciated. And beauty within yourself to be shared. It’s in awe that we look around and discover the world still going round when sometimes, a lot of times, it does not seem like it should.
    It seems a contradiction but it is truth. It is reality.

    From one who walks in the same moccasins


  15. Stephen Chapman Says:

    Ara & Spirit,

    Your journey is a beautiful one, and I want to thank you for sharing it with us. I feel (as I journey farther back in your work as I have only just found this blog last week) like I am traveling the countryside with you. This blog is your own personal work and is perfect as long as you are the enjoying it.

    Keep it real,


  16. skiJ Says:

    Hey, Ara —

    … don’t change a thing ( that You don’t want (need) to … ) .

    The Oasis of (Your) Soul Is a Beautiful thing .

    I Salute You – for Cope-ing as You have chosen to do so ;

    I am So Sorry for your Loss .

    Your prose Compliment Your Photographs .

    Please do not be discouraged by those who Only ( want to look at the Pictures ) —

    from the comments above , Please Know > You Are Doing Good Work ;

    Thank You For Your fellowship .


  17. Matt Says:


    I tune into your blog to see the images, however I also tend to read the words independently as they often take me to a different place.
    Part of it is curiosity and wonder. Where will you go next, what new thing will I experience through your eyes.
    There is another part that I guess you could call the study of the human condition. What you have been through. Where you have been mentally and emotionally, and where you are each day, moving forward as a result. Though I only know you through the connection of 1’s and 0’s in a binary matrix if you will, you’re no less real, or human/K9 (not forgetting Spirit) than a good friend down the street. Be who you are, express yourself however you will, it’s what makes this experience authentic and worth while.

    Safe travels,

  18. Garry Says:


    Be You…


  19. Dunkin Says:


    I met you and Spirit a while back, I’m not sure the year. We are in Bozeman, Montana – I owned an auto detail shop, we met briefly and you told me about your travels. I’ve since changed my ways, operating a dog care business. If you’re back up here anytime, stop by so I can pet Spirit. I check on you from time to time, just thought you should know.


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