Will this makes us Texans and Big Benders?

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I am excited and numb, all at the same time. How can that be? How did all of this came about? For almost two years now I have been the "worry" of my Mother. Your Mother would have been also if you would have been as disturbed as I am. I am always so thankful that few fit my bill, at least I hope so. My Mother, 81, residing in Munich, Germany, was so happy when I returned four years ago after taking off for a year, and rented a house in northern Georgia, about an hour away from Atlanta. It did not last too long and these past months have been continuous ambiguities about "why don’t I get you a house…?", taking it even a step further as I think all Mothers desire… "why don’t you find yourself a nice woman and settle down?". And then she said something that made a bit more sense. "Why don’t you get some land?". I thought hard and harder, winters are difficult on the road, very few areas are conductive to my Lifestyle and stay warm at the same time. But there is somewhere that has always been close to my Heart where we have already been a couple times, and always felt so welcomed by everyone belonging to that Big State of Texas: Big Bend!


Just from a few miles away… another "good morning" it was.

I always said that Big Bend might not have the geological "imagery and colors" of Utah, but it remains an incredible and vast Spiritual arena for me. I can go back to my own writing and read how every time, over and over, while reentering this immense space it would take my breath away and level off those valleys and peaks I quite often travel through unwillingly. The thought of having a piece of land in proximity suddenly opened up avenues I had not thought about earlier, avenues I have been unable to embrace while moving on and developing a certain stability within this unstable Life of mine. And at the same time those same thoughts warned me how much I like to move on. As now,we still have time before the heat dissipates in the south but we are taking on the road again in a few days, leaving the unseen surrounding wonders for another year and another year most likely.


A Big Bend evening "special"…

But… a piece of land? a physical location that can be called "The Oasis of my Soul"… on some dirt that I could embrace and make it a "home" for us for the winter times? There is only one phrase that can exclaim my conclusive thoughts "It is all good"! I called my Friend Kathy from Alpine, she was a surveyor of those lands not too long ago, she called her Real Estate Friend and Karma has delivered 10 acres of land that could not be in a better location. 55 miles south of Alpine on Hwy 118, 22 miles north of Terlingua… 25 miles north of the entrance of Big Bend or closer if you know its rear gate! 3/4 mile off the Hwy, with an all weather access road, the land has a ridge that shields the sight of the road, its surface same as the road of hard limestone and flat. No neighbors, the road itself goes on west for miles and there is even "one" tree on the property… that will be Spirit’s tree! He is going to be so excited, no doubt about it. How ironic that I have pictures of it’s view.

HDR Sotol

"Sotol Look Out"… my favorite meditation point in Big Bend

But of course there is no water and no electricity or sewer… My Mother does not provide us the funds for this Journey, but as with "White Elephant" she feels strongly of me enjoying an early inheritance whatever that might be. With the land comes funds for solar power, water can be obtained, lucky us, from only 4 miles up the road as we will need a good old used pick up truck to pull the trailer that will have a large water container, till some day we have a slanted roof for water catchment. Bathroom will have to be built with instant propane hot water and a beautiful hand crafted "compost toilet". Another building for storage and yes, bunk beds which will go hand in hand with eventually an outdoor kitchen/grill/BBQ, picnic table… for company.


Texas skies on Fire…

So I have never built anything in my Life, I think I have used a skill saw once without ripping off my arm. There will be some help but… the mystery remains on how to go about it all. I am thinking rock structure, sand bags, thinking "shipping container" which was quickly eliminated because of its shipping cost being more than the container itself. Maybe a used semi trailer with stairway going up and resting on its tires. Who knows… maybe finding something while there that could be moved? But all that feels so unimportant. It is its purpose that is moving me. Its location so conductive to writing and photography. With Terlingua, Alpine, Ft Davis, Marfa and Marathon near by and their Galleries, I am hoping to make something out of my Photography hand in hand with the continuance of the blog in its winter direction. Approaching summer will see us taking off on the rig exploring more of the country as also Karma again has landed another hand for our travels.


A simple backyard view…

I have always curtailed, specially lately, the distances ridden because of the fast wear and tear of the rig’s rear tire. A good Friend of mine has just finished fabricating a VW rear wheel that will fit in place of the existing wheel. With a car tire lasting 30,000 miles or more it is going to be freedom of riding as already the front and sidecar tires lasts about 15,000 miles. I call it the "freedom wheel!". Mine is being fabricated at this very moment. It will be time to ride back to the East Coast, up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah, upstate New York, Vermont, even Nova Scotia and come back with zillions of pictures to sort out during those winter months at "The Oasis of my Soul".

sunrise SM UA

Another good start of a day…

And there is more. As my belief with Spirit not owning him but cohabitating as  buddies, my feel for the land is the same. How can we own a piece of this Earth we are fortunate enough to enjoy for the years passing by? It is to be shared and soon I feel, not only "The Oasis of my Soul" will be read in words, but also visited by Friends, future Friends and Travelers wanting company, a good meal, a comfortable bed, much talk around a campfire and the chance to themselves explore the surroundings that will leave them speechless as so often it does to me. They are thoughts, they are dreams that suddenly have given me another lease on the future. A different curve on the horizon with much anticipation establishing a site to be shared by all and at the same time a small piece of Heaven I could finally call Home for the winter months, as I know we will be more than ready when spring comes to travel in anticipation of new sights and adventures.

The road

The road…

My name will be on that dotted line this week, it will be a month or so before we get there and camping as usual, relating the experiences through an already acquired Internet Dish and most likely no phone service. I am so open to any kind of structure, if anyone has any ideas, the more unusual the better… you are more than welcome to voice them out. Solar is covered by a Friend that will install it… the rest… well, will see when we get there!


The view of the land…

Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In Favorites, in States, some even labeled "first year" and second year". Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. I still have 25 T shirts that need to be sold at cost, $20 including shipping… redundant? The only way I can then switch to SmugMug’s Merchandise. These are the sizes left.

With the "ADV" (Adventure Rider") logo:   3 XXL ~ 4 XL ~ 4 M 

Plain:                                                         2 XXL ~ 4XL ~ 5L ~ 1 M ~ 2 S

Your participation toward the site is always welcomes and accepted through the "contribution" button above… 320 colorful Chapters with many destinations for $1 a month?… now more than ever.

Be well, always. Ara & Spirit

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11 Responses to “Will this makes us Texans and Big Benders?”

  1. Janet Says:

    I am so happy for you Ara. What a great satisfaction this will bring to you and Spirit. Please keep me posted on the progress as I would like to be one of the first to stop by your humble abode and say hello.

    Janet ( and Uji)

  2. lindan96 Says:

    Reading the blog makes me so excited for you and Spirit and the new venture you are about to embark on. It is an overwhelmingly beautiful place, as I have also visited there once, a lifetime ago it seems. The pictures are more beautiful than I remember. I have a few friends and will ask some questions for you about a setup you can use there. Can’t make any promises though…Just don’t be surprised when my Wintertime for freedom calls and I stumble upon your “Oasis.” Until that time, I have the blog and your work to let me spread my wings……Thank you for the sights and wisdom, Linda

  3. Dee Says:

    Morning Ara, if your thinking of a house thats different for your propery ,how about a Yurt? lol Dee

  4. Dan Says:

    This thread on the city data forum might give you some ideas.


  5. Bill Wood Says:

    Super news Ara. My riding buddy in Dallas and I go to Big Bend every fall and will stop by. Send me the GPS coordinates when you have ’em.
    We are leaving next week for Yellowstone and will look you up if you in Co/Wy the last two weeks in Aug. See ya. Bill
    PS – Regards to Spirit.

  6. texascindy Says:

    I know you weren’t born Texan but I’m sure you got here as soon as you could!!:) Congrats on your new digs!!

  7. Barney Says:

    Many folks live in a travel trailer like me and love it. No need for a big truck unless you plan to travel in it. Look out for one that is older and they get pretty cheap.

  8. Cindy Says:

    Ara, I am so excited about this new chapter in your journey!! And being a mom myself , I have some idea how happy this new chapter will make your mother!!! LOL!

    Home ideas…we had some good friends in Delta, Colorado, who lived in a solar powered “cord wood” home. It was fantastic. In sporadic places they had put in colored glass bottles and the light coming through them was beautiful. It’s my understanding that the builder of this home also built one for Dennis Weaver, the actor. Maybe you can Google some info on cord wood homes.

    Do we email you if we want a t-shirt? I’d like to get one for my brother.


  9. Skinny Says:

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve decided to adopt Texas as your anchor point…I’m sure there are enough of us native born Texans who have met you to bestow “Honorary Texan” status when you get back to Big Bend…

  10. Starla Myers Says:

    Congrats to you, Ara & Spirit, for becoming Texans! I have family in Hemp Hill, Splendora & San Antonio…perhaps we can pay you a visit sometime, when we are down your way? Ya never know! LOL!

  11. Ginny Says:

    Hey I found the post I was looking for! So you are moving close to ALPINE!!! That is absolutely the greatest thing ever. I feel you will be happy there and definitely have friends a plenty who will want to visit you, including me! I’ve always wanted to see that part of the country and never have been able to. If I could just witness one sunset like the kinds you photograph, and then die, I’d die happy.

    I hope that I will be in a position to come your way by the time you get here. My life is very constricted at the moment so we’ll see how it goes. Love to you and Spirit both.


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