The stage has been #20 ~ #26 westbound toward Salem. Rural Americana with it's rustic remainders of now almost defunct villages and the farmlands adorning the shoulders mixed in with the entrances and exits of the various National Forests. As sad a bit such little villages are today as I could only guess from the faded storefront signs of their previous wealth, they provide a slice of History never found in books or pamphlets. The price of today's now as an antique standing tall fuel pump denotes the year when slowly the main street folded giving way maybe to a bypass or just the fact of a new generation leaving for the big town where the jobs might be more rewarding.
“Sublimity”, “Gates”, “Idanha”, “Unity”, “Prineville”, “Sweet Home”...
We stop when the old oaks have enough shade to cover us from the hot sun for Spirit and I to stand all alone within the silence of a non existent traffic and just be, sometimes often still hearing the noises of the past glamor today vanished.
We could have spend weeks covering such short distances, but we had to be as we are right now in Salem awaiting for "Terra Explorer”. A surprising turn of events for us as seemingly this Journey has always brought on.
More Photos on the Journal... Enjoy.
Seems as usual the days of summer get away so rapidly. I savor the long days without much interruption and sleep is curtailed to less hours than ever. I even feel tired at times when I finally realize midnight in the woods has approached and the first sun rays jump start me so early. It has been quite some “couple of weeks” nourishing the relationship with “Terra Explorer”, I must say a more than pleasant one when riding those narrow trails without any apprehension. Reverse and two wheel drive leave me always speechless.
Yet we battle with Mother Nature at times. Looking for elevation, escaping the mosquitoes, running away from the high temperatures, summer has it's charm and challenges.
I forgot to mention “running away” from crowded spaces also, but when I saw Crater Lake I could not help wanting to spend a few days exploring the circle it makes. It was not too bad, traffic was light, one and only “tent camping” space was fairly quiet. We did escape it before the Friday and Saturday's exodus of the weekend warriors happened and dropped a bit more south to the top of Mt Shasta. As far as the road could take us anyhow.
The experience of a Sunset and a Sunrise (so far) adorned with a sky filled with traveling clouds left me just sitting in my chair and taking it all in. Act One, Two, Three and more...
I forgot. We also spend a few days in “Plain”, WA, coaching many cook outdoors with provided “Snow Peak” gear and the get together organized by “Overland Journal”.
The Photos will speak for themselves on the Journal.
Our Summer descend South has started. Too early for my taste but... always a but! House sitting a couple weeks for the same Friends who are going to take good care of Spirit while spending 2 weeks in Germany with my Mother. This is what happens when such events are planned right in the middle of Summer. Yet I am finding such a Season to be a difficult one since we like cold. Mosquitoes have never ceased, the heat is always present even if hovering around 10.000 feet, maybe need to switch our path to a different one. Pretty much stay put in the summer and confront the snow and colder elements in the winter in areas we have not seen covered with their white blanket. We now have the vehicle to do it with as “Terra Explorer” is turning out to be an amazing machine with a Old Soul trying to grow up a bit too fast!
We spend a grand time in Mc Cloud for about a week in a house loaned by our Friends, and now within the heat of Tucson we are pretty much staying put besides a magical evening a couple days ago North of Tonopah filled with storms and cooler temperatures.
Those will be photos for the next time. Right now it is all about Northern California...
Helping Friends with some house sitting, the same Friends which will take care of Spirit while in Munich for a couple weeks in a week spending some quality time with my Mother. Here sheltered from the heat of the day, reorganizing photo galleries and more, all of it leading to some down time.
The local rides however are of many as Mt Lemon provides elevations up to 9000 feet pretty quickly while experiencing the afternoon summer monsoons, meaning buckets of water always a few seconds before rain gear can come on, Arivaca Road, Madera and Box Canyon or just sleep all day and stay up all night!
The thoughts are present and yet they are also ahead of these times. Wondering how things are doing at “The Oasis”, looking at maps for winter camping, reading feed backs for better warmer gear for those coming days as now, with “Terra Explorer”, the ability to travel on some forbidden trails are of the past.
It is a bit odd as always to be planted in an urban environment. We are enjoying it as much as we can, yet I feel as I am biting my time missing the open spaces.
The fever for outdoor living is now permanent and will only get worse.
Enjoy the local colors...
The mapping of our Lives. Some “hang” photos, we live them.
It has become a bit thoughtful all these years. Maybe too much. All is slowly being replaced by contemplating adapting this mental mapping which is taking place. Lately. They are spaces I know of longer times taking roots are of an attractive greater choice. The connections are of only Mother Nature and maybe of a distant village somewhere not too near by. Nothing is holding us back, it will just be a bit more of planning when I return.
Bitter sweet it is this afternoon as Spirit is only a couple feet from a suitcase and a carry on ready for tomorrow morning when I will be flying to Munich for a couple weeks. There is much excitement spending some true quality time with my Mother and much sadness leaving my buddy behind.
Compromises are always everywhere seemingly a daily ritual one cannot avoid. As someone said the other day, as long as they are “positive compromises”. He is and will be in good care, there are no worries and suddenly before I know it back again it will be so we can both go on to Texas and regroup while meeting “Old Faithful” which I also miss.
In the meantime it was a couple evening rides up the Mountains southeast of us when the 100 degree days cooled off, a nice road called “Box Canyon”.(AZ).
Kind of limping with a bad shoulder and upper back we made it back to “The Oasis” and it is only just now getting back the ability to freely moving around. More or less! My patience is not the best when it comes to halting everything. Frustrating under medications awaiting feeling better is a better explanation.
This space has become the center of my Universe where we are all alone enjoying the silence and these past nights with a Moon getting full all is lit as daylight.
It is lounging here as being in a “Twilight Zone” literally loosing all sense of time and days, I cannot even tell how long we have been here.
This is what Big Bend will do to most when they let go of their Urban minds and slip into the present covers always so welcoming.
It rained like mad, stormed like crazy and today again the skies are blue as I think the good Spring weather is here. So welcoming.
Enjoy the Post Cards images of “The Oasis”.
Turns out to be a good thing this little piece of land here in the middle of nowhere. Way South in Texas. Once a Year it is that time to regroup, specially with a new Hack which is not quite done, not quite accessorized for our needs. “Old Faithful” is still in Lander, Wyoming, it is going to be a long round trip haul to bring here down. Soon I hope. This “Terra Explorer” by the way is now named “Crusty” and she excels off road, “Old Faithful” is more the touring hack it seems like. I was able to pick up some interesting items while in Germany, at least get to know those items which I am showing in the Journal. They are mostly winter camping gear. Some that have shrunk in size and weight specially my kitchen, some that will keep us warmer. We have some big plans and I always kind of smile at my plans as I know too well none always go as thought. Past experiences are the proof.
I am actually writing this from Lubbock, Texas. Tomorrow “Crusty” is getting a much needed side case for more gear! Mr Spirit is doing well. His clowning has not stopped and I think right now he is a bit anxious to get back.
All the new gear in this new entry with always many "Thanks" to our kind Sponsors.
And then they are the times when the Road does not spare the hard times unlike some might think it is always the blue skies with no clouds. Lance's Birthday will of course not stop coming around and down again through memory lane the mind takes it's own Journey. There is no need for avoidance, this is what Life had planned. Learning to embrace the good ones, that is the good memories, and live uplifted by them is always the key to those days.
The space here is conductive for such a play of the hours going by. It is “The Oasis” with acres of beauty, miles and miles of roads, paved and unpaved, Friends that welcome us back for those times we will be here in and out this winter. This always has been the ultimate retreat and remains as such.
In a day or two we will however be leaving for Wyoming to retrieve “Old Faithful”, one more step to have it all together here.
The shoulder is getting better. We were able to take a long ride yesterday through Big Bend Park, always a treat. Paying the price a bit for it today, but this too shall pass.
More on the Journal...
Lingering here at “The Oasis” will do this. “This” meaning erasing clocks, calendars, any source of outside interference with our lives. A Heaven of tranquility and ecstasy and more, so much more it becomes harder and harder to describe what these millions of acres laid out ahead of us bring on day in and day out. Some of the past days have been hot, some have been covered with a ceiling of dark clouds, a cold front made it's way for a couple days and too quickly found the exit door, night time riding or daytime, nothing has stopped us from doing so, including a video of a bit longer nature. Winter is not yet upon us, not yet, this part of the Country seems to avoid it for as long as possible. Regardless of it all, today, as this little screen passes on images of the brutality with which Mother Nature has punched the East Coast I start thinking about such unfairness of the devastation. Cost of lives, homes, businesses, health for so many of the elderly, it is all very much so on a speechless path trying to wish everyone affected a speedy recovery. Wishing. Life has it's twists and turns of too many. Doesn’t it?
“Day of the Dead” in Terlingua was Friday and so was an Anniversary of our past departure from Georgia [Dawsonville to be precise] 7 Years ago, pretty much with no destination, mental or physical for that matter. Aspects of entertainment are at their highest here. One would not think so while crossing 80 miles of Desert from Alpine or Marathon or Marfa Southbound. There is a lot “happening”. At the same time we made new Friends as they have been traveling from London to South America in their little and efficient “Lada” with their Buddy “John”. No need for a Turbo charged top of the line vehicle, this one does it all as you can even watch the video I posted on the Journal with many Photos also of Friday's Celebration which this Year brought in a nice [and painted] larger crowd. In the meantime we are tomorrow morning taking off for the Park. I don't know yet which one, which direction, maybe Spirit will point the way as he always does.
Enjoy the Journal, much local colors.