Vagabonding to Capitol Reef, Utah…

Monday, July 14th, 2008

So much realization comes about sometimes. This constant inner battle with the past wears me out often. It would be so easy to give up, it gets harder and harder to spring back as curling up in a corner and reliving the past does not help at all, but it is so effortless. I came across some real "paper" photos of Lance in an envelope the other day, photos I had not forgotten but not looked at for a while, purposely or not, photos of a young and innocent age, long hair and green eyes, the greatest smile in the world, a child staring at the camera as he would be staring at me today, only much older, and I felt transported so far back… about 25 years ago. If we only knew then what we would know later on. What else is there to say! I started thinking that maybe I am not doing so well, not as well as I thought. I decided that we should move on for a few days and I packed the bare minimum leaving everything else behind. I did not even want to look at a map, my only choices were East or West, many clouds Eastbound, so we went West.

Capitol Reef 1

It does not take long for me to get transported into another space while putting on the miles anywhere it would be. It is an incredible therapy, if nothing else trying to avoid the deer, the rabbits and this time the cows out in full force. I also know realistically that we cannot put on those miles day after day, there are times for rest, "regroup" as I call it and I cannot be the ostrich burying its head in the sand, as it seems that my sand is this vagabonding that makes it all temporarily go away, makes it all at those time better anyhow. I keep thinking as my mind has made these times a bit harder lately, contrary to the popular belief that "time heals the wounds", that for some reason or another which I cannot pinpoint, I am just going through a phase… Writing about it helps comparatively with others that have close physical and moral support. Maybe that is what I lack in my Life, I really don’t know!

Capitol Reef 2

We left fairly early from mostly a sleepless night, Spirit did not complain as I think he was also ready to hit the road and he does not cease to amaze me as to how much he loves to ride! He is such a bright spotlight in my Life, always has been, a bit more now as I depend on him more often at times to bring up a needed smile. And he is always there! Always… unless it is 5 in the morning of course. I have noticed, specially these past few days riding around, being a bit more protective of him since our Rally incident. Funny as close to two years I had never thought about any of the warnings I had received from some Forum members about traveling with a Pit, every one we have ever met has always accepted him with open arms, and "still do". I think I just want to be ready if I ever hear any derogatory comments.

Capitol Reef 6

Capitol Reef 5  

Up we rode through Dixie National Forest where the red rocks give way to the green forests filled with pine trees, a bit further up themselves replaced with trunks of shiny silver bark and much pasture around them. The summit, close to 9000 feet, is always nice and cool, much free camping available and so many trails, the old roads as the part we rode first to Torey had not been paved till 1986. There is a welcome center where the Hosts have been returning for 9 years now, we talked very briefly as I just wanted to ride but definitely will go back for much of the History knowledge they have. Our first real stop was Torey and realized that this time I had not forgot anything, prepared truly including much water… but no food as the only grocery store in Escalante was still closed when we left, must have been early! Karma was good as we found this little gem of a store called "The Chuckwagon" with some pretty gourmet supplies, that’s "gourmet" for this area. A couple pork chops, some potato salad, bread and a few slices of ham, cookies and milk as later we pushed on more east till I saw the sign of the "Gooseneck Point", about a mile of smooth gravel. And for some reason… I never forget Spirit’s food!

Capitol Reef 7

I am now honestly getting real annoyed with those ‘no dogs on the trails’ signs. I am a responsible dog buddy, (I don’t like to call myself a "dog owner"…), I carry bags, and it is alright to let people in that are "graffiti happy", but not Spirit! This has been a difficult situation in National Parks, and why is it alright with BLM land or State~County Parks… Who knows! I read not too long ago about the same scenario in Bryce Canyon where I would really like to go and hike, with even a worse clause being no dogs allowed out of vehicles at view points! And I will leave it at that for now, remembering that dogs were allowed at the view points of the Grand Canyon.

Capitol Reef 8

The trail was only 600 feet long and Spirit stayed behind guarding the rig as I heard him bark a couple times. I liked those Goosenecks compared to the Goosenecks by Valley of Fire where we camped a while ago. Much more colorful, all carved by the Sulphur Creek, one day at the time for millions of year. It took a lot out of me to take those pictures so close to the cliffs. We met a lot of tourists these few days. That is all there is on the roads right now. From the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and many more from Germany. So pretty soon as Spirit’s picture taking just does not lighten up, many households in Europe will also make him famous!… of course I am never in the picture or never for that matter asked, which is a good thing.

Capitol Reef 13

All the roads here deserve to be called one of the most scenic roads of the USA. Highway 12 does, but also 24 which we were on, including 89 which we will also ride soon I am sure. We then saw the entrance of Capitol Reef, the same Park we entered from Burr trail a 100 miles or so south which we had started in Boulder. Stopped at the Visitor Center which is always a good idea for a map, did not think much about it at the time and so decided to ride in a bit, passed a couple campgrounds shaded with many trees and soon enough saw a sign for the scenic route.

Capitol Reef 12

I knew I was onto something spectacular within a mile when a dirt road was forking out left to get into a canyon. Thoughts?… shaded campground… no isolation per say, but "shade" was good… canyons… photos… we turned around and grabbed a site for $10 a night with some French and Swiss neighbors. And maybe that is what I needed, a bit of socializing, practicing my French and playing the tour guide as they still had some time themselves left on the road. It was not a 24/7 kind of chatting but a couple nice visits, kids playing with Spirit, much talk about food and roads of course, all with a nice cool breeze blowing.

Capitol Reef 14 

As of today I will stop saying "this is now my favorite" as far as roads are concerned. They have now reached the limit in numbers as the scenic road into the Gorge is… spectacular, as we rode it a couple times, once at 6:30 in the morning. One day the skies were good picture skies and the other day was not. If there is one thing I would like to learn in digital manipulation, a process which has much talk going amongst photographers these days, is to learn how to change a sky color from an unmoving gray to a nice blue! I have started by the way using a tripod that I have, has a couple broken levers being abused in the sidecar with the company of Spirit, but it works as my hands are just shaking too much, must be sometimes the riding, handling too many curves bringing on stressed hands. Time consuming for sure, but what else do I have going? I noticed that they are actually coming out sharper… plus… I look very professional on the road that way! Till a real pros comes by and checks out my $30 tripod!

Capitol Reef 15

Deer Deer 1


We will be taking the same route to Torey on Thursday, Bicknell close by has the only Pharmacy around, 71 miles away unless taking a dirt road NF-153~154 which will cut it down to 51 miles… and most likely twice the time and pleasure. So such is Life on the road sometimes. I keep wondering how I am going to feel once out of Utah and how much I will miss these marvels of Mother Nature which does not cease to present themselves? I guess we will find out soon enough, in the meantime we have plenty to go around here, much vagabonding to do. I will post about the Grand Wash and Gorge the next time. In the meantime… a couple of my favorite pictures of these past days…

Capitol Reef 16 

Capitol Reef 17  

Till next time…

As always, you be well…

Spirit is asking if… you have you checked the T-shirts lately… T-shirtsMouse padsPhotography

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Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108

Ara & Spirit

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2 Responses to “Vagabonding to Capitol Reef, Utah…”

  1. Cindy Says:

    I think that for whatever reason you needed to set your eyes on Lance today. As time goes by it get easier to push that pain and grief to the side but sometimes it just needs to come front and center. Ara, maybe you just need a day to be sad, a day to reflect on what could have been, what should have been. Nothing wrong with that. You are certainly entitled. I am so thankful you have Spirit. Not only did you come into his life at a time he so desperately needed you, but Spirit came to you at a time when you so desperately needed him. Just as you know the pain Spirit suffered, he also knows your pain. I wish I could give you a hug in person and tell you it’s okay to grieve you precious son, the young man with the long hair, the beautiful green eyes and the greatest smile in the world.

  2. Zelda Says:

    Thanks for sharing your vagabond life with us – we are fortunate to be able to enjoy these glories of nature from our homes. Thanks too for sharing your gentle heart with us – sharing its burden is a small price to pay for being included on your journey. I think there must be quite a pack of us riding quietly with you.

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