Flaming Gorge.UT

Sunday, June 7th, 2009
Flaming Gorge Reservoir  

I was browsing my new Gallery a bit ago, the one were there will only be a few images, the ones that move me, speak to me more than others, and so quickly suddenly I was elevated as within time pushed me upward, bordering the feel of leaping in giant steps. Sitting here and looking at the photos was as a book with it’s pages blown away by a strong wind. As I get settled more and more in a no time zone, the thought did go through my mind, in a bit of a pointless way of course… “did we really go there? Did we?…”. Time is of no issue and yet, the accrued span of our duration on the road hits me as never before. Words and past images have a tendency to do that.


We have pushed north about another 300 miles, arriving yesterday in Flaming Gorge, hoping for better weather and end up getting all it’s bundle as a rainbow coming apart at the seam with each color going on it’s different path. It is blue here with it’s puffs of white clouds, a slight turn of the head and it is raining a bit away with menacing clouds. The winds suddenly out of nowhere decide to prove their strength in incredible gusts to again lay to rest for a while. It threw me off at first as it is also bitter cold for a few minutes, followed by these heated rays that makes the shivers calm down instantly. At least I know where to go in the summer. Anywhere between 6000 to 8000 feet. Big Bend in the winter and Crested Butte in the summer? the two ultimate destinations as we will go back to Crested Butte sometime soon, meaning I don’t know when.

The Dam  

There will not be better weather. This is it, as we are prepared for it all. Just trying not to spend too much time all day putting on and taking off the gear needed. We have been many places and the words always escape me when I see such beauty. I started thinking today while on one of those rare straight stretch of road how beautiful this Country is. I already know I will never see it all, I know and have learned to enjoy the moment served with such grace as also a day does not pass without someone telling me of a space I have never heard of. “Stay safe and enjoy your freedom” is part of a comment I received today. Thank you Wentzi, that says it all.

Geological Tour road f-2  
Geological Tour road  

We have a new cooler. Insulating clothe with a hard shell and we, well “I” as usual, loaded it up with some left over cheese, Pita bread and water. I love to stop and eat often, Spirit needs to stop anyhow for his “scent” intake and also always needing to clean his goggles. Someone asked me the other day if he could see through them. Well, he does as I replied “if you really want to know the intimate details, because of his low windshield the… “snot” from his nose is always flying backward on his lenses”. Just in case anyone else is wondering why in some of the photos his goggles look a bit frosted. Probably more details than I should give out.

Geological Tour road  
Geological Tour road  

I always come back to camp with the memories that have given me the most comfort. I don’t necessarily write this in chronological order, it is as I want and need to lay here with the warmth  of some parts of the day. Today was the discovery on what is called the “Geological Tour Road”, of a meadow so beautiful, so incredibly laid out that it seems as I was suddenly transported into what we all call “Heaven”. A little pond in the center of this giant circle carpeted so delicately with thousands of yellows. We stayed there for a while. It was as my heart was lifted, transported, I really don’t know where, but it reached deep down and almost left me breathless. I was being so careful as not to even step on the flowers, stopping often as Spirit always does, and try to breathe engulfed from a sight I had so rarely experienced. The skies for those moments where blue, it was a stage so inviting I would have stayed a long long time. 

Geological Tour road  
Geological Tour road  

There is a past movie that has always left a profound impact on me. It is called “What Dreams may come” with the great Robin Williams. This meadow reminded me of it. This space which I have not yet found a name for, took me there, and I did not want to leave. I just wanted to lay down and “just be” as it’s space seemed to me a safe heaven. My own Journey as my senses spread within it all suddenly took on a shape of a multitude of picture frames passing as forming it’s own Movie. Months after month it was all as a fast forward motion stalling on the moments so dear to me, and finally without the words “The End”, this stage newly discovered laying so generously in front of me.

Geological Tour road  
Holes in the rocks  
Geological Tour road  

It seems as I was in the right place at the right time. This “Geological Tour Road” is one not to miss…  “The sun is yet two hours high, so I climb the cliffs, and walk back among the strangely carved rocks of the Green River bad-lands … Barren desolation is stretched before me; and yet there is a beauty in the scene” [Major John Wesley Powell, May 24, 1869]. It is step after step an incredible display of the source of it all. We started walking instead of riding and suddenly a strange thought came to mind as no formation was alike, none of it made any sense. Rocks filled with holes, layers upon layers, once horizontal, today vertical, once vertical today horizontal. Boulders resting in places where they did not belong, colors all mixed up with no continuation within themselves. I could only start thinking that maybe one day Mother Nature might have become confused and dropped it all out of her bucket, or maybe here was ahead of us all the left overs that just did not fit anywhere else.

Geological Tour road  
Geological Tour road  

We stopped at Red Canyon, we stopped at the bottom of the Dam and watched the crowds putting in their flotation devices of all shapes and form to go ahead and fish these waters considered the second best fishing area in this Country. We stopped in Manilla and talked to some locals and much more. I Will write about it all the next time, today that meadow just does not seem to leave my Soul. I reach for beauty, always, I reach for this refined elegance of Life because from above it all this where Lance is, this is where he would want me to be. I have no doubt.

To Flaming Gorge  
to Manilla and back  

Merchandise on Smugmug, Photos and Free “e-card” on my new Zen  Gallery

Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit



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4 Responses to “Flaming Gorge.UT”

  1. texascindy Says:

    You are truly living the life! I really enjoyed these latest pics. To come across something like that pond is close to being magical! I try not to be envious. Safe travels as always,

  2. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara,
    More superb photos! They make us long to be there! We are looking forward to traveling and camping, too, in the next couple months. Will watch your route and perhaps catch up with you for a day or two as you travel East. Feel free to stop and rest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, if you wish.
    Take care of yourself and Spirit, and travel safely.
    Pam & Randy

  3. Andre Shoumatoff Says:

    Hi Ara,
    Wow you are very close and back in Utah already! The road I mentioned several times in the Uinta Mountains (unusually cold up there right now I figure but it is very nice in spring/summer) – the road with the glacial boulders placed in a large meadow with a river running through it, is a fairly well groomed dirt road that goes west from the Flaming Gorge area into the Uinta wilderness where it meets with the Mirror Lake Highway (the old bootleger route into Utah) that is a paved road that goes North-South from Evanston Wyoming to Kamas Utah, which is only 20 minutes from here! It has been a crazy week, I have a website I need to have finished by the end of the week otherwise I have to return their deposit and we had meetings with the state about biodiesel manufacturing last week which I think I mentioned. This said I have approval of a complementary raffle item for new members to Hazard Assembly and so much of the content is already pretty good, so.. It launches this week! Thank you as always for wonderful contributions!

    Your friend,

  4. Jim Murray Says:

    Chef Ara:
    Could you share with me the program you use to insert your maps in tour postings? I’d like to incorporate similar maps in my blogs. I suspect it is Streets and Trips? Thanks and have been enjoying following your travels for a couple of years now, JimBob

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