Back in the saddle! Texas

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Appropriate title today…


I have to quote one of our readers, “Barney”, which I hope with my words toward “tourist spaces” I did not offend. “In my Journey, the tourist spots have also much to offer. Just go to them with the attitude that they are a tourist spot to enjoy for what it is. Here in Fredericksburg, Texas, it is one big tourist trap town but still is great fun. Everywhere seems to have it’s “specialness”. As you found out even a large city like Houston has special things about it as well as a nowhere place like Terlingua. Enjoy them all is my attitude.”



We have been to Fredericksburg and did enjoy it for what it is. Yes, an afternoon searching for some great photography shots. I did mention, as far as National Parks, that we will do some drive through’s, as we did in Zion, twice, Bryce Canyon, a few, and many other spaces… crowded and mainly unwelcoming toward Dogs. One cannot even have their dog’s out in any of Bryce’s Canyon parking lot lookouts. I enjoy the photography that they represent and of course their beauty, as if it was not so, they would not be congested by long buses and gazillion tourists. They also have the right to be there of course, we want, need them, for the revenue of land conservation. But, those spaces do not represent the “soul” I am searching for as examples here at The Oasis, Valley of the Gods, Lost Coast of California, Lion’s Mouth north of St Georges, Devil’s Garden near Escalante, Utah, Toroweap and many other’s we have planted some roots for some short times.


One’s “space” is hard to describe. It is a feel, it is a mood, a sensation “that space” projects to all the senses. Not only the visual, but “all”. When I set up a tent knowing this will be our home for a while, at least a few days, I need “that space” of mine to be touching all my senses. I have the luxury of time. That is about the only luxury present. I could not trade it, it is what I feel, my own richness. It is that side of the coin hiding the other, the other seemingly always in the shadows as to when exposed to it makes me only run away and come back and search for the brighter one always as a flood light brightening up my Soul. I can only wish everyone else could experience this ultimate path. It has it’s price, the price is “within us” however, it’s price is only for one to strip themselves from it all and reach the core of their own well being, awareness.



A heat wave is definitely upon us these past days. Amazingly it is pleasant. The old days in Florida jumping from one air conditioned structure to another to a cold car are behind. This body is welcoming the heat and even the wind was, this afternoon while cooking again on the fire. We are on our way to see some neighbors from Minnesota here on their land for just a few days. We have connected with them a couple nights ago at a cookout. Pam, Tom and Nate. Chatting by the fire covered with grilling steaks that night, Pam looked at me and her voice louder than before expressed that she had been following our Blog for a while now as she keeps up with most that live around here through the Internet. Yes, Spirit is famous… I am merely the instrument that drives him making sure he is well taken care off! It is vice versa… It was then an evening at The Oasis with another chicken and potato stew.



Pam and Tom are interesting beings. They are closer to Earth than many I have met and they are having a blast throughout their lives playing the dream many only think off, living about one hundred years behind. They are visiting with Nate, but normally in their every day lives on the road when they are not home in Minnesota, they are a team of 26, a tight family as they express themselves upon it, they are a Show. “Shadows of the Old West”. Tom is Buffalo Bill. They reenact all over the country. Bank robberies, melodramas, trick shooting demonstrations, street acts, historical characters brought back to Life.


This is not your typical CEO entrepreneur on Facebook on a path of percentages and dollar values nowadays a dime a dozen caught in within their badly oiled gears. Their emphasize is on fun, on spirituality, moral standings and above it all Family values. Their next show coming up is in early April, in Iowa, in Mc Gregor, within the River Junction Trade Company. They asked us to meet them there, do some photography. It is a weekend affair with the one condition… everyone in town is dressed as the good old days. They even have a costume for me… Spirit? well… maybe a new bandana. A destination to think about as we also have talked about following the Mississippi discovering the historical sites along, ending up eventually in Minnesota at their home with much land where we are invited to stay… as long as I can cook a few dinners. Not a bad trade.



Sometimes I wonder if I will be allowed to see it all. “All”, at the speed we are going, as much as I don’t like to use the word, will be an impossible task. Living in the moment will allow us to do so, as there is no past and no future, only the “moment” we can enjoy such as meeting such wonderful people with promising plans down the road awaiting for us.



It has been a great time, a couple days with the hands of a clock again escaping us. The night ending up with the final curtain of a beautiful and simple sunset, being looked upon us by the Moon and Venus, was an “encore” we witness every day. Another cook out tonight… how can one be so busy in this empty and vast space? Surrounded by real people living a real Life gives us also the taste of “moments” I will always cherish. There is no drama here, there are no games played, it is pure and white and it seems that I am not the only one that tries to keep that notion alive.


Twenty eight months of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.

Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.

Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute… The logistics of it have become costly. It is an open book, its pages for the taking with always the hope that you will support their presence.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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7 Responses to “Back in the saddle! Texas”

  1. TJ Avery Says:

    “…I have the luxury of time.”

    Yes, indeed.

    Let me tell you, as a person (a husband, father, provider, etc.), free time has become the very most important thing to me. It is precious. Time to do things to feed my soul is at a premium, and it’s difficult to obtain. So let me tell you, that sort of time is invaluable. You cannot put a price on it.

    Don’t misunderstand me, my free time (to enjoy nature, etc.) is few and far between and extremely valuable to me, but I also enjoy time with my family. That’s important too. But when my soul screams at me and yells “I need to be outdoors and enjoying what nature has to offer”, I most likely cannot jump up right then and there and head off to satisfy my yearnings. I am bound to the requirements of my life and the needs of my family. I persist onwards because I love my family more than myself.

    Time, free time to indulge in the natural world, free time to sit and enjoy what ever is in front of your eyes, free time to explore slowly and savor every moment does not come easily to me. For you, I imagine that the free time is available much more so. You have your own requirements and constraints too, but you’re “there” already. You’re in a place (Big Bend, etc.) where you can easily indulge in your cravings for the natural world.

    Me? I’m in big-city nightmare. Cars, lawnmowers, leafblowers, impatient people as far as I can see, and then some. I’m stuck here, at least for the time being, and greatly wishing, wanting, desperatly waiting with held breath the very next time I can step outdoors and NOT hear a honking horn, revving engine, sirens, leaf blowers, and so on. I’m beyond tired of enduring someone riding my bumper because they wish I didn’t exist just to get one car-length ahead. So many, many people just racing ahead as fast as they can go only to stop and wait at the next red light.

    Just pure silence…. and a few moments to decompress and focus on what God allowed to be placed (naturally) on this sphere we call Earth is what I yearn. I hope my family understands this need, and I also hope (most importantly) that they feel the same need themselves.

  2. TJ Avery Says:

    Oops, I also meant to say: thanks for sharing your photos and memories. Looks like you had some great company out there at The Oasis and made some great memories.

  3. Michael Says:

    Why is it called “Free time” when it is the most valuable thing we have?

  4. Barney Says:

    I never considered that there was anyway you could have been offensive. We live for freedom of life and expression. Continue the reporting PLEASE.

  5. Travis McCulley Says:


    Great to see new updates… I check back from time to time. I am still planning on getting all my images straight and organized… some day… for now most of them are on the portable 250 gig drive with back ups to the 300 gig SATA.

    I will be in west Texas next week. Whoo-hoo! With 14 teenagers and two other adults in tow. Two nights in the Cottonwood campground at BBNP… Sat. and Sunday. We are really looking forward to sunrise at Santa Elena. Then out through Terligua via FM 170 to Presidio. Then north to Marfa… where we should be having dinner at the Pizza Foundation on sometime on Monday night. Then two more nights at the Crow’s Nest Ranch in the Davis Mountains with a trip to the observatory in between… and then our glorious last night at Seminole Canyon in Dryden, looking at the petro-glyphs and jammin’ on the stars… then back home to Seguin.

    Man-o-man, could any kid wish for a better spring break.

    You Rock!

    Gotta jet…


  6. Ginny Says:

    Wonderful photographs, wonderful people. I love The Oasis of My Soul. 🙂

  7. MsBelinda Says:

    This is why I love reading your blog, you always introduce us to so many interesting people and places. You let us dream about what it could be like to have “the luxury of time” and what we would do with it if we had it.

    I am amazed at how many delightful people have come to visit you at The Oasis. Maybe someday in the not too distant future I too can have the pleasure of meeting you and creating a few memories of my own.

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