Saved by the "Bell", and a quick meal, Texas

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008


The Flag flies at the Ghost Town by "The Porch", in Terlingua, were we stopped a bit to see the familiar faces and sites.

"Paul Glaves", a few miles up the road is not a bell, but is my "Bell" as the expression goes. It was bound to happen as it has always happened these past two years. "Karma" turned her face toward us and in a week or so "Old Faithful" will be as good as new! Considered one of the best BMW mechanic in this country, and probably for that matter any other vehicle I am sure, Paul and Voni happen to be my neighbors, just a few miles up the road. You can even read his monthly feature in the BMW ON Magazine as their "technical advisor". Out of respect I had never asked a question regarding mechanical issues when here the past couple times, that is just the way I am. I had asked him however a week or so ago if I could use his help taking the sidecar apart and use his covered facility as I would do the yearly maintenance myself, never realizing that this week would go by with now evolving major issues such as a clutch and a throttle body. The throttle body issue is still a bit of a question mark as it might only be an "old and tired" throttle cable. The "as good" news also is the fact that we can continue being mobile, there is no harm of us going on, not cross country, but far enough for now!

guitar player a

guitar player  

Am I relieved? of course I am! I have always appreciated our rides, never taking them for granted, but this time more than ever it had become such a big question mark. We have been here over a week now and such odd feelings passing by finally I think are leveling off. Looking back is always the way to realize how we feel versus being in the midst of the emotions of the present time. "Colorado Kid" again says it so well and makes me see the real colors off this masterpiece surrounding us.

"Hi Ara and Spirit! Colorado Kid is a she, but that’s not important, what matters is that I think you’re feeling the letdown of being stationary and with no physical destination right now, you’re there! Life on the road carries it’s own "raison d’etre", and life not on the road also does, but it’s really different, and it can sometimes feel a bit desolate and empty after the travel.
So…time to examine yourself even deeper, maybe you’re a real full-time drifter and really do belong on the road. Maybe you might be happier spending a few weeks with the White Elephant instead of the entire winter, then returning after another few weeks, that sort of thing. I believe that the real drifter is more in in tune with our ancestors, the hunters and gatherers, who stayed only where and when they wanted. True freedom.
Plans can change, maybe it would be good to spend Lance’s birthday on the road. Just a thought. All my best to some of my fav friends, Ara and Spirit."


no dogs  

And those words are indeed the reality of it all. I could not contain myself to get here just a few days ago, to absorb the feel of this land and its incredible landscape as also in parallel with the sunrises and sunsets unequaled on this Journey. And as soon as we arrived, suddenly there was, for lack of better words, a "scared feeling"… "comfortable and uncomfortable"… "tied down"… We were here for three months last year but those thoughts never arised. I think I thought having suddenly lost my freedom by being here as it is not so I am realizing, and for that matter we will spend October 13th on the road.


This land was chosen because of the harsh winter up north and also because of its geological interests, Mother Nature’s canvas at its best. Nothing will stop us to throw the tent and sleeping bag on the sidecar rig and take off exploring parts we have never seen yet. That realization has finally sunk in and I appreciate the "kind" and "true" words send to us, as also "James NomadRip" wrote…

"It’s just a mild change. Change often is a tough pill to swallow. You’ll figure out what works best for you and Spirit and how to balance your time there versus being on the road."

We will figure it out. No doubt. I had no clue "the pill" was going to be so big!!!

starlight theatre 

startlight doors  

Terlingua was calm, always is, but more so now as I think the season might be slow unless fuel prices become a bit more affordable or everyone starts thinking about car pooling, maybe RV pulling. KKKK… "Kathy’s Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe" (I think I got it right this time…) has a new addition: the Betty Boop trailer. My Friend Paul who has the Big Bend bug as I did and is also looking for land invited me for lunch and as usual the invisible hands of Mother Time did not keep track of our chatting.


betty boop a betty boo c

I made a quick meal the other night, last night actually. No name… you can give it one! I thought I would write its recipe here. A couple boneless breasts of chicken cut up and a few sliced cloves of garlic, quite a few. Sauté in the pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar at medium heat as olive oil has a low heat threshold. When browned while stirring, add a cup of rice, I like "Uncle Ben’s, the regular that is, with  2 1/2 cups of water and a cube of chicken bouillon. Low heat and stir it up a couple times to melt that bouillon cube. Keep covered.

meal a meal b

Before the rice is done and while some liquid remains, keep checking, add a sliced zucchini, some julienne roasted red bell peppers from a jar and a quarter pound of cream cheese. The cream cheese going in first, and cover. The rice while it finishes cooking will also steam the zucchini and melt the cream cheese. When the rice is done turn off and let it rest another 15 to 20 minutes… stir and plate. The cream cheese will mellow out the garlic, reason for using lots of it and the balsamic vinegar will give it a bit of a slightly tarty taste.

meal c  

meal d meal e

OK… so I had fun cooking and playing with the camera… and eating! All at the same time. You got to love the plate, Spirit picked it while shopping…

The parts have just been ordered for "Old Faithful" today as I am not disappointed at all with that aspect as much as it hurts the budget! She is allowed to have a new clutch and new throttle body, after all she is 192! Till next time… Enjoy, stop by our new "fire ring"!

fire ring

Two years 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…

Be well, always. Ara & Spirit

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5 Responses to “Saved by the "Bell", and a quick meal, Texas”

  1. D. Brent Miller Says:

    Ara, I’ve been a long-time reader, but I think this is my first comment. Some of the feelings you describe sound like those of through hikers on the Appalachian Trail. It takes about four months to hike the entire length of the trail. Not every one makes it. Quite a few report, upon completion of their hike and returning to their normal lives, an unsettled feeling–like they should still be out there. Normal routines usually help settling in and “nesting.”

    BTW, I’ll have to try that recipe. It looks good.


  2. Colorado Kid Says:

    I think I’d call that yummy looking dish you made something like “Oasis Pollo.”

    And of course Spirit got a bite or two, right?

  3. Ginny Says:

    The above poster put it very well. I’ve done a lot of research regarding the Appalachian Trail and it’s true what he says. I hope to someday through hike it myself but don’t know if that will ever be realized or not. It’s a whole new world living life on a trail only to stop in towns when one is able, to bathe, re-supply, eat a real meal, sleep in a real bed, etc… I imagine it is very similar to your life on the road. There is nothing but routine because it requires it. Once one returns to the drum everyone else is beating(too fast in most cases), it’s like being thrown back into a world that was once known but changed and surreal. I get chills thinking about it.

    Your dish looks really good. Everything you make looks really good! I’ll call it Ara’s zucchini chicken with rice and garlic for now. 🙂


  4. Picinisco Says:

    Ara, if there is a good reason for a pill to be taken then it must be taken for the good. If the pill is a big one then we just have to break it down to smaller pieces and if it is a bitter one then we swallow it with something pleasant. Each day is a smaller chunk and is easier to handle and your surroundings and the spiritual goodwill that you have been receiving from all around is the sweetness that makes it all bearable. Keep at it. I for one am receiving the benefits of your existence.

    Cheers….see you down the road.


  5. Cindy Says:

    Hello Ara,

    Two days until Lance’s birthday. I think that for me my son’s birthday is the hardest day of the year, his death day being the next. I start feeling pangs the first of that month and the days leading up to it are so painful. Then the day comes and it’s almost anticlimactic. It’s a very meloncoly day for me. trying to think where we would all be if he had lived. What would he be doing? Would he be happy? Would he be sad? I know our lives changed with his death, and we all know your’s certainly has. It’s a thoughtful day. Then the next day arrives and I think to myself “I made it through another one.” I hope you will be able to be on the road that day. (((hugs)))

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