The “Aftermath”… NM

March 15th, 2019

The Aftermath straying from the path of a full time Life on the road.. With a sidecar and a Dog.

Ara xxx 

Spirit in the Hole xxx

June will be two years situated in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and such aftermath has been almost daily thoughts about. It is real, it is physical and mental. It is an aspect I am sure everyone who has spend some serious time on the road goes through, will go through, and right off I will say, even though being hard, it is with no doubt all worth it and rewarding.

guarding the trail xxx
              One of my favorite road in the Country. Shaffer Trail, Utah. And yes, we came from that road   
              below.

Shaffer trail c xxxx
     The way up…

Shaffer trail d xxx

white rim trail a xxx
White Rim trail

Many facets exists for both Lives.

The road is generous to the mind, to the consciousness. It is the ultimate freedom with a Mistress and faithful companion called "Mother Nature", it is an overflow of the senses and yet it is physically harsh. One needs their full senses to be 100% developed and have their inner awareness on always full alert. "Awareness" is not living in fear, it is only being in constant observance of the surroundings, whether the land, the skies or people if near by. Such ensuing facts do not fully apply as much when living in a camper, RV. I remember too well the very first day taking possession of our truck/camper feeling immediately detached from the path we were on when with only our sidecar as our vehicle and home. It was too easy, too "comfy". Get out of the truck, take a few steps, open the camper door and we were home. “Removed” was the feeling. Full queen size bed, three way refrigerator, galley with sink, stove top and oven, solar power and even a quiet generator to run the air conditioner if needed. A bathroom and hot shower! All this versus setting up a tent, cooking on a small stove, no refrigeration, a sun shower and nine bags containing our belongings. No roof, no walls, the ground being our floor. At the same time the camper was a savior in bad weather while remembering spending days locked in our tent when at some point and somewhere the rains never stopped. In Montana, the snow and hail also never stopped for three days. I truly don’t know how we made it.

V of F d xxx 

boots xxx

It was easier to embrace Life on the road versus buying a home and living this urban Life as much as "this" was needed. Hard to believe but it was. I am well aware of all the above and below are only my own personal opinions and I am not talking about living from RV park to RV park or even frequenting campgrounds and their amenities. That is too easy… and crowded!

U-Turn on 15-5 - Copy xxx
 Freedom…

U-Turn on 15 xxx
          And more Freedom…

I think "easy" is the general consensus and of course the reason such RV parks and campgrounds exists populated with neighbors only a few feet apart from each other, music blasting and voices taking over the sounds of Mother Nature hashed and never heard. I always thought, as at times "we had to be there", why don’t they just stay home, especially witnessing a television sliding out from a hidden outside panel while their occupants sitting in a circle listened and watched out loud the chosen programs! Why?

The Bus c xxx
     Another Life on the road?

There is a lot of planning needed toward destinations when living out of a sidecar [or motorcycle for that matter]. The number one concern was always "where will we be able to set up our tent?" as sometimes caught late between point A and point B. I remember all too well when headed South on Highway 1 in Oregon [or was it Washington?] and the clock was ticking and the skies were getting darker. No beach camping allowed, no BLM land or National Forests for sure. A KOA sign appeared and even though I knew how hard it was going to be to spend the night there. Being expensive was one of the negative aspect while I also knew they did not allow Pitbulls. It took quite a bit of a scene and much talking to finally get a little spot for us at a $40 cost for the night. Throughout the 12 years on the road we rarely paid for camping. It was not a good experience for sure, yet, there was that day ending with no choice in the matter.

Toroweap k xxx 
   Toroweap. The Grand Canyon.

What can one see and experience when living in a 40+ feet RV? Nothing but the main highways and if lucky towing a car only day trips in circles from their makeshift base camp of course living in that RV park or campground. The sidecar was the ultimate vehicle. The destinations were of so many and the Journey, that forward momentum, that "movement", were always the key to our happiness. Toroweap, which is the Northern edge of the Grand Canyon only visited by less than a thousand people a year, Muley Point which I call "The Top of the World" with Valley of the Gods near by, Recaptured Pocket which I still keep a secret of its location [don’t ask!] and so many other spaces I considered Paradise away from it all. Really away as at the time not even cell phone reception unlike today reached those spaces.

ROAD xxx 
      Not quite lost… yet!

I have read too often "I wish I could do the same… It is my dream…". I have also met the ones that have taken off with too many questions of "how? this and that…" with a lost look in their eyes deep down missing their home while the reality of their dream did not correlate with their present Life. It was sad to feel their surprised pain and the lack of their smiles while disturbed from so many present aspects. I mostly never heard back from them. Maybe they just went back home and stood under their hot shower for eternity. We had a reason to live on the road as such and that reason for sure was not a courageous decision but only the sight of a flickering light on a future path after losing my only Child and cornered in that past dark tunnel. What other reason one would have to live as such? I do know the answer, as today dozens are, but, them, with a financial goal of being rewarded as such through their blog or vlog or whatever they call it. I have met some of them also and their daily lives seemed more like a job than anything else with the responsibility to express daily and publicly their journey through words or videos. That of course was never my intent even though many sponsors approached us and helped us as also did many readers of this Journal. Especially when broken down.

-1147 xxx
It happens…

Old Faithful-4 xxx
      And again…

It was a freedom not found here today even though such a word could apply towards this Life. There is a house to take care off, endless doctor’s appointments and more. Yet, needed or not, one could say that I have all the comfort and peace of mind one could desire. Yes, that is present and what is missing is that "freedom of the road".

191-17 [original] xxx
      Broken down again…

191-18 xxx 
            It was the only way…

I am working on it even though I have become a fair weather camper! Due to medical reasons I cannot handle the cold anymore even in a house. The cold is cold… Duh! Few would even understand it as I found out while visiting some Friends not too long ago and his stubbornness of not raising the heat while almost calling 911 throughout the night! Looking back I should have given him a $20 bill towards his electric expense! I can only thank his wife, which I am sure too aware of such stubbornness and opinionated thoughts, going to the store and buying me an electric blanket! One more aspect to consider these days when leaving "my house"! Never ever such visit again… So yes, I am working on it, I am planning to be in Valley of the Gods mid April while at the same time keeping a close eye on the weather. Closer than ever. Car camping needing some changes in the gear department as also due to my spine not being able to be fixed I have a hard time lifting. It is as "what happened?" between then and now? All part of the aftermath. A sun shower with a foot pump, a tent/cot, a table weighing less than two pounds, my 30+ year old Kermit chair glued and with clamped parts over and over, even an AC/DC small Dometic refrigerator which can also be powered by my little portable solar system. New convenient gear and fixed old stuff. It will be a new experience. No sidecar, no Spirit and yet not a camper either. It will be lonely for sure. I already know that as it is a fact today. Will I feel back that "freedom of the road" even if out there for only a month or so? I honestly don’t know.

V o t G y G xxx 
   Valley of the Gods

All I can say is of all needing to take good care of their health as without good health there is not much left. I am myself trying.

Stay well, Ara
                     Spirit [R.I.P. 04~04~2018]

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