What this is all about. “Riding”. TX

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Paragraphs of Daily Thoughts, some Mental Therapy and some reviews of our “well seasoned” Gear. Published Weekly or so.


"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken"

Pinto Canyon-2

"Too often people don’t factor into, a decision is our outstanding ability as humans to adapt to difficulty. The result of overcoming adversity and mastering one’s ability to triumph over environmental challenges through persistence, determination and imagination produce self-efficiency and feelings of personal power, luxury and security can never hope to provide. The harder the Journey, the greater the cultivation of the will—and mastering one thing leads to greater proficiency on how to overcome challenges in other parts of our lives as well.
In short, adaptation is the precursor to growth and seeking out difficult, uncomfortable and challenging situations accelerates development, enriches our lives and provides us with the kind of awesome memories that will sustain us until a final sleep rounds our little lives."
~ Author yet unknown as I am still searching ~

The endless road in Death Valley

Nice and sunny a couple days ago we took off for one of my favorite loops. On to Alpine, Marfa and drop down down through Pinto Canyon to Ruidosa, hit the Bakery in Presidio, ride back "River Road" to Terlingua and finally back up North to "The Oasis". It did not happen on that particular day. Flat tire in Marfa after indulging on a Falafel sandwich at the "Food Shark". Could have been while dropping through the Canyon, could have been… What a better place than on a tucked away in a corner of a gas station. Time ran out, I don’t work fast and compounded by mounting the tire back on "out of round" after changing the tube, the slight up and down of the rear end motion out of balance only made us limp back here. I was not ready to start all over on the side of the road. That tire was already on it’s last motion, my laziness to not change it when it was due only doubled the work of it’s maintenance. 

Boys and Men Eatery in Marfa xxx

So today is the day with all new three tires this time around, yet, realizing it was my last tube used there is a bit of an uneasy feeling. Must stop and buy some patches. The tubes have to come through the mail. I think I have patches but no glue. There is a forecast up in the skies, the grays are predominant but it is still early and this might change. We have been in worse weather, of course, a bit of a challenge is always good, it is always as adding an extra caution to the ride. "The ride"… When it comes down to it, when I see Life as this giant pyramid we all have been labeled with, "the ride" occupies it’s tip, it is the driving force of the Journey, the prescription for any ailment which could be present, mental or physical. 

Boys and Men Eatery in Marfa-2 xxx

Boys and Men Eatery in Marfa-3 xxx

It takes a while these times to get ready. So unlike grabbing the keys of a car, opening the door, sit, close , ignition and go. There are layers to put on from base to windproof to heated. Same with gloves, pants, boots to slip on, Mr. Spirit situated. All making sure we have extra water, food, batteries for cameras, SPOT, SAT Phone, GPS, all charged up. All tightly secured. It has of course become second nature. All becomes second nature on the road as the Urban Life is now of an only distant memory. Auto Pilot maybe? Possible but always double checking it all. I have paid a heavy price at times by not doing so. 

SPOT xxx



It has been a strange week, the culprit being the "riding prescription" having not been filled. Feeling that wind, arms in motion directing a throttle and a clutch in it’s proper sequences, the acceleration coming out of the curves, the sound of a throaty but not loud exhaust muffled by ear plugs as if on a different course. The skies did not clear up in parallel with was not and had not been all week a "mood" for photography. Just was not there. The "ride" was present overtaking it all making the present the non stop enjoyable and invigorating times. 

Paved section toward Pinto Canyon xxx

Once we left Marfa southbound on the first 32 miles of paved road leading to Pinto Canyon all changed. It is a different landscape even if similar. There were no other vehicles, actually just one and that was all the way to Presidio. Overcast it stayed almost as a sign for not a need or desire to stop and use a camera as only the video was rolling. Just a few. “Pinto Canyon” is a beautiful road specially when ridden downhill with the most incredible views portrayed non stop. The road has been maintained like never before as I so much remember the same ride a couple years ago when hitting the skid plate with just about every turn of the wheel. The Border Patrol must have been complaining.

Pinto Canyon-7 xxx

Pinto Canyon-6 xxx

The ride overtook us. It did. It was as wanting to go yet not riding a loop but on an endless new trace of this Journey. Must be a bit of winter blues descending upon me even if the weather is not much of a winter time as the clothing comes off in early afternoons to of course come back on when sunset passes by us. They were hard miles all day, the steering is hard with every curve coming up all feeling like a work out much needed.

Pinto Canyon-5 xxx

Pinto Canyon-3 xxx

River Road-3 xxx

The loop was closing in as we rode “River Road” from Presidio to Terlingua through Lajitas. I kept thinking if we had a tent I would have just pitched it somewhere out of sight and stayed as the gift of our surrounding was escaping with every miles when the words “the end” too suddenly materialized. The ride filled me in and at the same time emptied me making me realize this “Base Camp” I call “The Oasis” might seem to be a too permanent space for us as much as I like it and enjoy being here. I think, I know, we are packing up in a few days and confront another direction pulling me so incessantly as the freedom to roam is always so present.

River Road-2 xxx

River Road xxx

There was however a Gift awaiting for us. One of the most incredible Sunset experienced.


Maybe I am a bit confused these days. Maybe this halt is throwing on a shadow on a momentum much needed, or is it has become just a way of Life with no turning around as the grass “is” greener in this pasture which never is the same with it’s forever changing colors, shapes from it’s peaks and valleys we have always rolled through. Time will tell.

A cloudy day through “Pinto Canyon” road.

All about our Gear

“The SlatGrill”

Slat Grill_ xxx R

I remember seeing a photo of this Grill the first time around and absolutely knowing it’s outcome with us on the road whether used with a burner or as I do most of the time kindling turning it into charcoal so much available to us. Free cooking using the surrounding materials available.

Slat Grill_-9 xxx R

Slat Grill_-3 xxx R

Chris Weyandt is the responsible person for creating this simple mode of cooking, anywhere and anytime. The model he send us is the “Summit”, made of Titanium and only weighs 1.4lbs. It is a bit pricey but that is the cost for it being lightweight. The same model called the “Scout” which only weighs 3lbs is made out of stainless steel and less than half of the Summit’s cost. There are other sizes and configurations but this one is perfect for one or two people. Yes, it is simple, straightforward, there is really not much to say about it as it works real well with us.

Grapevine Hills Rd-58

It really is one of those one will think “how come I did not come up with this idea?”. The pouch it comes in also clips through a belt. I was thinking back with the shower, the bucket, water bottles, pretty soon my belt will be full! I actually use a backpack.

Grilling-8 xxx

Photos Galleries are on Smugmug

2013 Calendars in both styles can be ordered through Lulu  LuLu Journal 

Calendar Nature

Spirit Calendar

Stay well,
               Ara and Spirit


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3 Responses to “What this is all about. “Riding”. TX”

  1. Bill McDonald Says:

    Another great post! Just want to let you know that this grill article was my favorite so far of your equipment articles.

  2. texascindy Says:

    Thanks for another trip down Pinto Canyon road. We hope to do it again soon. I don’t recognize that food truck. Food Shark has new digs? We didn’t see their truck under the pavillion when we were in Marfa. Need another of their “Marfalafel”s! The road is calling you and I know you are antsy to go again. Safe travels where ever it takes you!

  3. Randy Says:

    Great ride, thanks for taking us along.

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