The Last Frontier… TX

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

I was thinking “Utah”, as today I received some great photos from my Friend Michael who just spend a week in freezing Moab. Below is a minute slice of our own past adventures, discoveries.

“The unknown is the Province of the Student. It is the Field of his Life’s Adventure, and it is a wide Field full of beckoning” [Lincoln Steffens]

wod cutting wod cutting-2
wod cutting-3 wod cutting-4

I have not sat much lately to write, being on the road I scribble on my I Phone, let out what the mind goes through, a bit like deflating a balloon sometimes I think. We are back at “The Oasis” and we are by ourselves. It was a bit of a rough ride, cold mainly, could not go over 300 miles throughout the day, and so Carl who had left the same day trailering our wood arrived here one day ahead of us. To my surprise all the wood was already stacked, lots of wood, much more than last year. As he had told me, wood will warm you up more than once and stacking it was one way for him to stay warm while the skies were preparing to gift us with some snow this morning. From Booth to “The Oasis”, this wood has come a long way with much work from my Friend as I now feel so much owing for his efforts.

Firewood-2 Fire ring
Old Faithful  

It is the first time we are here for some snow! It did not last long but enough to take a few photos and let Spirit wonder what was going on. He was not as thrilled as I was but at least was able to stay warm with one of his new coats. 3 coats he now has courtesy of “Mary”, his personal seamstress. Lucky guy he is. The exciting part of it all is they fit for a change, a simple design that truly works. Two are fleece lined and one is his raincoat in burgundy vinyl. Fashion. As soon as I find some kind of fake fur lined material he will have another one! It will match my fur~leather winter hat compliments of Teri this past summer from Ennis, Montana.

Old Faithful-6 Old Faithful-4
Old Faithful-3 Old Faithful-5

I don’t think I have written about this. Ron Dakota and his sheepherder wagon, on the road for some 28 years with his horses, Teri from the “Rusty Cowboy” in Ennis where we camped a few weeks, well, they are now together at last. In Ennis. A true Cowgirl and a true Cowboy, they have crossed path with such past animosity, magnetism toward each other unparalleled in my vision and thoughts, and now have made their home together. On days as yesterday when she wrote it was minus ten degrees, I can see them in front of the Fireplace and hear their exchanges of words as I have before. I cannot imagine that kind of temperatures. We will maybe see them again this coming summer. I was present when they met, the three of us spending a magical evening, one of those under the big skies of Montana. Such great memories. Such great Friends.

Spirit-6 Spirit-5

In the meantime winter is also here. The heater has been on for most of the day, it is already 27 degrees this evening, (as I am reading my own words, now 22! and again down to 16). Maybe “Old Faithful” should have gone and sheltered herself in “Evergreen”. I think Carl’s decision was a wise one, this wood stove in this big tent is barely making a dent with these temperatures, even when going full blast loaded with much wood. It is December, it means cold, it means Holidays, I knew there was a reason for my thoughts being so vulnerable these past days. Just have to stay busy, forget maybe what month it is, take it lightly. Try.

limb Flowers
Sun shower rocks

I have been thinking a lot about the ones writing me, writing us. Some, most we have never met and yet they manage to vibrate my inner notes in a fashion unparalleled felt in my own Life. They are the comments, they are the many e mails. I have over these past years laid out my own words as I felt them taking birth with no censorship, only maybe toward other’s stories out of respect of their own private Lives. I had never imagined all this would turn out as it is, it has been good allowing me to… deflate, grow, come to my senses sometimes, gain awareness. I started a while ago writing the book of this Journal. It is a pleasant path to go through each chapters and feel the Journey as it has developed with no promises of expectations. It is as a long, very long Movie in the making.

Tent-2 Sun Shower-2

Suddenly all changed. Mother Nature took away the dark gray clouds and brought in some Sunshine. I think she forgot to take the cold with her. That is what I thought anyhow in the early morning hours. The thought did not last too long as from 16 degrees we went on toward an afternoon of riding to Terlingua, however arriving too late for the Farmer’s Market. Desert weather, truly incredible. We met some other riders gassing up, one from Florida, one from Georgia, another gentleman “Dale” who now also resides here on his spare time, Roger also called “Uncle” who is our local off road Team leader with his vast knowledge of all the back roads. Coming back before dark that is when I felt, as arriving and seeing such open space ahead of me, this is my “Last Frontier”, my own demarcation, the end of the line for us throughout the winter while we explore, try weather permitting, this State of Texas.

Riders Riders-2

There are no neighbors near by, all is quiet, serene, a deep breath is easily taken and nights only show a couple human lights far away enough to ignore them. Not many come here, we are too far from where they want to be. They do not understand there is so much beauty outside the Park and I guess that is alright also. This is all ours for now, I feel so privileged to be allowed here and still amazed of this path that has taken us to this Space I cherish so much.


Till next time, you all be well, always, it is our best choice.

Ara & Spirit

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9 Responses to “The Last Frontier… TX”

  1. Joseph Schmoe Says:

    As usual Ara, wonderful images and inspiring words. Your photographs of Utah affirm my opinion that Utah is one of the most photogenic states in the country. I cannot wait to return, camera in hand.

    Thanks for the post Ara. I hope someday to reach the level of skill you display with your camera. Stay warm, I have to think the 16 deg referred to Fahrenheit, not Celsius.

  2. john Says:

    Hi Ara, keep us all warm with those hot pics of sunsets and animoto collage pics , there are just great. I hope to get on line soon, thanks and best holidays and a good luck in the new year 2010.

  3. Allen Madding Says:

    You be well too, my friend. You and Spirit stay warm.

  4. Colorado Kid Says:

    Greetings from Utah, Ara and Spirit, where I’m holed up in my little trailer waiting out a big winter storm in Green River. But I have four dogs to keep me warm, so no worry. Hard to believe you have snow down there. And thanks for the great video. Be well and happy and stay warm.

  5. Elzi Says:

    I hope the tent is working out for you. Looks good! Glad to hear you had a good Turkey holiday.
    I’ll be seeing you soon (will be down there in two weeks).

  6. Louise Says:

    Opal says that Spirit is so handsome in his high-fashion coats! She has the advantage of her full fluffiness in cold weather, but he is the lucky sleek one when the temperatures soar. So it is ironic that you are seeing 16 degrees in TX and we are panting in 90 degrees in FL…

  7. Andre Shoumatoff Says:

    Hi Ara,
    Very nice pictures and photos of Utah. I have been all over the southern part of the state lately as well and correct it has been cold. Up here we finally got snow and it have been bone chilling for several days now. I just had a wonderful trip to Cliff Dweller / Lees Ferry Arizona you would have enjoyed. It looks cold there too, it looks like you and Spirit are doing well. I have been looking at a dual sport to acquire my first motorcycle, FYI!


  8. Don K Says:

    What a Last Frontier to be part of and thanks for sharing this with us. May the wind always be at your back and adventure be in your face.

  9. Nicole Espinosa Says:


    Your insight into human nature and descriptions of your adventurous, soul-moving journey through life fills me. You gift us with your photos and writing at a time when human connection and depth are the riches in our lives. Thank you for taking the time to share the tapestry that is your life. My best to you and spirit. So hoping and looking forward to meeting you on the road.

    A fellow solo-adventure rider (minus the sweet puppy),

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