We've been camped in these Zirkel Mountains for most of a month now. 9500' and better. From the excitement of goin' four wheelin' with a 30+ foot fiver on Buffalo Pass in second gear with a busted clutch... to the mostly quiet times here around Dumont Lake and Rabbit Ears pass.
From these high meadows down to the high chapparal of Arizona... and even the low desert at Bouse... it's these open lands and the open road that I was made for.
I've heard it said that "Wandering Men" only wander 'cause they be searchin' for That Place to call home.
Well girls...while that is likely true for many, even most... It ain't me.
I Am Home on the Open Road.
Those other yondering souls might could be searching for a place to roost; But this traveler is only searching for a way to keep fuel in his tank, and rubber on the wheels to keep on movin'.
The feeling I get, when I see the road rolling out in front of me, fading off around a far bend in the hazy blue distance is a difficult to describe thing. I've never quite found the right words. It isn't "Joy" really... it's more akin to that feeling I'm sure some get when they've been gone for a long, long time on a wide circle... They pull into the drive and put the key in the lock and push the door open... Home... It's that surge of serene calm that washes over a fella when you Get Home.
It's that first full breath you manage to take after a particular difficult and tense time? You know when you can take that first, long, slow, easy breath? and the soothing quiet just holds your attention?
Only, for me, that feeling only comes when I'm Leaving! ;) When I'm wandering on the Open Road... Moving along, foot loose and fancy free.
We taken a run down into the "settlements" around Fort Collins the other day to help the kid out and meet a friends new baby... let me just say... a day, a few hours, in such a place as that and I'm full up on town. Any bigger than Steamboat or Laramie and it's a hurry in, grab what you need and run screamin' for the hills like a passel of Comanches were hot on your trail, supply raid for me!
Whatever "It" was that allowed me to live down there for so long... is tee total used up and gone!
We'll be movin' camp to lower ground today and we're headed down to Laramie, Wyoming for a couple of days to do a dog agility trial. Gonna be camped at an arena on the "outskirts" a mile or so west of town.
I loaded the Raider yesterday afternoon... That has sure become a non event. What with the addition of those two footboard planks and the elimination of the headache rack (that gives me more room) piggybackin' the bike is not the jockey knotting enterprise it had become for an aging road burner. ;)
With a mite of luck and good fortune we're still lookin' to downsize our outfit a lil' more in the future... sooner rather than later I keep hopin'.
There was a time that our fortune permitted us to just jump whenever we had the urge and the idea. These days it's a more drawn out endeavor. It takes me some little time more, workin' out how to stretch a Washington so that it looks like a Lincoln.
I've gotten "The" rig penciled out in my head and on paper. It's not anything radical really. Definitely not what many would have as their 'Vision" of a full time outfit... but... for me it seems to be the thing that makes me nod; "Yup, that's her."
The rig I'm sketching out is somewhere around about five thousand pounds lighter than what we're haulin' now. Where we are now is just a shave under twenty thousand pounds. It's not much shorter, if any, but it's lower and lighter, a bit skinnier in places and well... shorter in some ways. ;)
The main deal is it's arranged in a way that would make it, if my cogitations are correct, easier and more convenient, day to day... and light enough that the stress level of pushing it down the road is dropped to the level of background noise. It would be so low as to not be an issue.
I guess movin' around on a motorcycle a lot has drawn my attention to my weight. ;)
It seems to have become a "Thing" with me. The farther and longer I go, the less I want draggin' around behind me. I see folks, right here in Dumont with truly nice forty foot busses... They're comfortable and spacious sitting in camp... but... then I think of 'em tryin' to climb over Buffalo Pass and I picture multiple Heavy Tow trucks parked with lights flashin'; The drivers standing around scratchin' their heads and askin'; "How in hell are we gonna get THAT outa HERE?"
...and the one guaranteed smart alec who has to ask; "Get it out? How in hell did he get it IN there?" :)
I want light, tight and rollin' easy. I've got my eyes on what I believe will do that... we'll see what happens sometime between now and Armageddon! :)
But for now I better get the rest of this gypsies camp loaded so we can go to rollin' down off this mountain.
Two Years Strong and Still Rollin'