Friday, November 30, 2012

Listen to the Whispers...

Hitched up and bumped 25 miles... to what I call "Bouse Camp"...

*The soft end of another day on an Arizona Trail*

After 40+ years of drifting at different speeds, straddling different modes of transport; from the seats of pickup trucks and Motorcycles to horseback and military cargo planes and even my thumb a time or three... on different trails... from Nogales to Fairbanks and beyond... There's not a whole lot of country I've not at least nicked the fringes on.

The road is a picky, and judgmental compatriot. Sometimes it chooses to push you away. Its saddle don't fit every one. Some folks get weary and sore after just a few months. Some take years... and others... it's a whole different deal. Somehow the road can sort out the ones who just aren't built to appreciate it.

For some, it burrows down deep and sets a hook in their guts. The farther those poor devils get from the open road and the wind in their faces as they chase the constantly receding horizons... the harder the line on that hook pulls, and the worse their unease and sickly feeling.

Somewere...  Deep in my guts... is an old rusty hook.

Utah has its canyon walls that tower over you... cutting off the horizon and sometimes the sky itself.

Montana runs from prairies that stretch beyond your imagination to mountains that swell your soul.

Idaho, Washington, Oregon all have their own personalities... as you can tell the home range of a rider by his hat and gear... most drifters could be transported in their sleep to new country, and tell you where they were after a minute or two of looking around when they woke up...

Arizona is no less. It runs from the lowest deserts to rocky peaks above timberline. It has the Junipers, and Pines and Adobes of New Mexico... yet there remains a stark yet indefinable difference between the two. When you cross the line, going either direction... you know it without seeing the border sign.

As much as I love all the other lands I wander so freely in and could not survive without... I Always feel like I've come home when I cross the border into Arizona.

Alongside the Grand Canyon, the things probably most spoken of when the Subject of Arizona comes up... is first the concrete blistering heat of a Phoenix Summer! ;) and then ... her Sunsets.

Every sunset yields a stack of photographs nearly impossible to choose between. It's like reaching into your pocket and pulling out a handful of diamonds. How do you choose to discard any?

If you wait just a minute or two the light changes and the vision in front of your eyes morphs into something new.

It's like a herd of horses. They've all got two ears, four hooves, eyes, flowing manes and indomitable spirits... but each has its own spark, its own personality... its own value... like so much of this life of Freedom. Each day, so much like all the others that led here, each day has maybe just one small moment that sets it apart from the others.

Life is often a confusion... made more trying to understand, by the noise of soh-sigh-uh-tee with it's unending cacophony of grasping drivel.

Like I've been advised here by other drifters and those that wish to be... Turn up the Stereo... Pop a top... lock out the  noxious cacophony and search out those fragile, fleeting, visions and personalities...

Or, just kick back and revel in another Arizona sunset.

The more of  those fleeting moments you find... the more polished your instincts to locate 'em become. You find yourself turning down narrow roads, away from where the sign directs... because some internal voice whispers... Here... just down here...

... and at the end of those vague trails... you find your pockets full of diamonds.

... Listen to the Whispers

Weighted down with full pockets

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter...Nope... It Just Ain't my favorite time...

Winter's are hard on me... not so much the body... but that lil' grey pod rattling 'tween my ears takes a pretty good beating.

When I was lil', and still trapped in the city, I delivered newspapers at ten degrees. Cowboyin' I pushed cows at 15 below, chopped ice at 25 below... fed all day at 115 above in Arizona to waaaaaay below in Colorado...

I've rode my motorcycles at 10 degrees splittin' the wind with a grin, and the wide eyed looks of townies that KNEW they'd seen an un adulterated mind broke idiot !... and come home caked solid with snow...

Weather ain't a fear. Nor difficult tasks or failure. I can deal with whatever comes. Been there, bucked off that bronc... and swung my leg right back over!

But... Time. That there is a tee total different thing.

I can deal with solid, get my hands a good grip on it, "Things" and reality... It's TIME that seems to be the tough nut to handle; The dang thing too slippery to get a decent grip on.

It's sitting Static that brings me to grief. It's like I'm sitting in an open field and I can feel the cross-hairs of Time taking a bead on the bridge of my nose. THAT's a target a blind man couldn't miss! makes my liver quiver and leaves me wigglin' and squirming like a cut worm.

Winter is where we, of necessity, slow down our slower way of going... and time stacks up on me.

We work at keeping the miles under control to stretch our meager possibles to cover our subsistence. We use winters to try and catch up a bit from the rambling of summer.

It's that winter, static... NOT goin' down the road so much, that gets to gnawin' sore spots on my liver.

I get restless and cranky, with too much time for schemin', when I've got to go without new visions keepin' my senses busy collecting more mental video clips.

For the UN-initiated... it's those times of unfettered and cut loose schemin' that's generally been the source of much of the excitement along my trail.

Yes sir... give me 'nuff time to scheme up a Really Good Idea... and I'm genuinely over my head in a Deep Sheep Dip! It generally falls within the pur-am-uh-turs of that Red Neck Cliche' of; "Hey Fellas! Hold my beer and Watch THIS!"

Here it is only the end of November and I'm already winding up tight. I'm so itchy I'm stretchin' the pavement twixt here and Bouse at speeds that has the boondocker brushed up under a Paloverde tree along the road asking; "What the hell was that?!!!" when he sees a red blur... and I rumble past.

I've made some hard choices... pretty much forced some arbitrary decisions on that smokin' brain pan of mine with the goal of simplifying things and quieting some of the noise...

Yeah right... quiet the noise... and the wind won't blow in Wyoming, Politicians'll quit their lyin'... and the check's in the mail...

The problem with me remains... Time... too much time. Time to question and wonder and second guess... While a will power that has a feeble ability to Over Power my basic instincts to say; "To Hell with it! Let the chips fall! Let's Roll!" and then just crack out and RIDE! tries to do just that... force me onto a  clear trail... when it's Bushwhackin' that holds my attention...

Ah... the life of a bunch quittin', drifting Rover in a world of herds.

*Arizona Sunrise*

*Arizona Sunset ... pointing the way west*

Sunset... that time of day when the mind quiets... and the schemin' slows... you just breathe... and listen to your heart.

I wish they could put THAT in a pill ;) ... Sunsets and Motorcycles... the guy would make billions if he could figger a way to bottle it.

Toughin' it Out... One way or the other

Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE Problem For Long Term Drifters...

Is often...simply... Seeing.

There's a problem?

Sure... You've heard 'em... "We went from the Maritimes to the Grand Canyon. We saw the Keyes and Glacier National Park. We saw the dead white guys carved into the mountains of South Dakota and the Beaches of Oregon. We've seen what there was to see... so we left the road."

Only... They is WRONG girls an' boys. They burned a lot of fuel and rubbed a lot of rubber off the tires... but they didn't SEE a damn thing! They were so busy rackin' up miles, and puttin' check marks on the "bucket list"... that they passed right on by ten times more than they ever put in front of their eyes... or their minds...

Ever'body knows how much I admire Zion, Glacier and the Washington/Oregon Coast... but... those places are Easy.  They take no conscious effort to see... Hell, they Stun you. The beauty and spirit of that country jumps out at you and hollers; HERE I AM! You can't miss it.

What takes paying deliberate attention are those places in between. The places we Live for the long term. Their treasure is only... in a way... hidden. You have to search for it. The beauty and spirit are still there. It's just as vibrant and soul filling. And like "regular" solid people, it's not the "Flash" that can become; "I've been there, done that." The sort of beauty I'm speakin' of is the sort that endures... somewhere deep inside, in the places you can't put into words... it Lives.

It just doesn't reach out and slap you like in the Tourist Meccas. You just can't be lazy and see it. You have to want it. You have to look for it.

Where ever you are the spirit of Life is all around you... only it's not that noisy sort that almost overpowers and stuns your senses like in the Crown Jewels of Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier... It's quiet and it whispers...

and think for a minute... if all the boondockers that are right this minute... drifting around the west, collected up in some great Free Mans Rendezvous in Zion or Yosemite... or any of the handful of Gorgeous spots... those places, and the Joy we get from them, would disappear under the weight of Humanity...

Plus... We'd be right back in that same prison we worked so hard to escape... living many weeks of the year for our too short pilgrimage to our Holy spots... and living the rest of the time in that same grey existence. 

Seems to me... a better way is to realize that there are Living Jewels around us... everywhere... all the time.

Here in this Arizona desert, that to so many seems stark and bleak, some folks never leave their rigs. Or when they do, all they do is drive into Q to have a dollar Taco at the local greasy spoon and then drive back home after dark. They MISS most of the beauty of this place... and likely most of the places they wander through. The  folks that never even leave town miss it All.

Every where, in every direction, if you just open your eyes to it... here or in Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Oregon... everywhere... from the high mountain peaks to the lowest of desert basins... to the waves crashing against some lonely beach... the spirit speaks to a man, free on the earth... IF ... He'll open his ears... and his eyes... and listen.

We were walking last evening... and I mentioned that it's kinda hard to find "New" photographs... after having pictured this place for a few winters now... and I had to give myself a mental SLAP! I was falling into the same trap I warn others about... That's why it takes deliberate effort...

I need to step out at different times of the day, in different moods, heading off toward new points of the compass... to see my surroundings from different angles in different weather... to learn all the personalities of this living land I am blessed to live on...

Just a Man ~ Free on the Earth.

All around me are always more mysteries to keep my old brain cogitatin' and wonderin'... and if I should run out of those... all I have to do is look Up...

Hunting the Hidden Jewels Others Pass By

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving with New Friends and a Return to Normal Scheming

Had a pretty quiet Thanksgiving yesterday. Lazed 'round all morning... thinking we should get up and do something... but it didn't happen.

Finally did have to get moving though as Judy, a neighbor from across the desert a lil' ways, was scheduled to arrive about 1 in the afternoon with Cisco to share our Thanksgiving turkey... that tasted a lot like Chicken! ;)

If you look under the table you'll find...

Nigh on to two hundred pounds of dogs layin' about... waiting on somebody to get sloppy and drop 'em a tid bit! ;)

BBQ Chicken, stove top stuffing, veggies mashed potatoes and Punkin' Pie... washed down by Jack Daniels Down home punch, Raspberry Lemondade and/or Fosters Beer... depending on your taste.

Not so much the traditional meal... but Kickin' back on the desert, it works! :) Was a pretty fine, lazy, relaxing day...

... which always gives my schemin' parts the opening to take off a runnin'! ;)

Spent the evening of a lazy holiday penciling out a fresh set of To Do lists for the coming winter and year.

Uh Oh... What did I say just recently 'bout planning too much? :)

Today I'm workin' one part of part of one of those Lists... which is stringin' more words together on the manuscript for the working title; "Tears of the Hunter". That'll be book #2 in the Ben Jensen series after the Opening story; A Pair of Second Chances. (which I happen to think is my Best Story so far) I done fell behind on that project for sure! ;)

Other 'projects in the works' that might come of interest to RV Wanderers is designing and building a Camp Desk, (all by hand tool in camp) and for those into doing the craft of Leather work in camp, a modification of the Camp Desk design that shapes it into what I believe will be a very handy and portable Camp Leather Working Bench!

I've been wanting a convenient and workable lil' desk to set under the awning for some time. I just haven't liked what I'd seen or thought up... until this morning! I stumbled on the core of the idea that just clicked! Suh-wheet!

In fact, if the design I've found and am tinkering with works out the way I think it will, a clever and handy person should be able to take the design and modify it to fit just about any small activity they might want. From simple writing and journaling to Jewelry Craft? Whittling/Carving? Fly Tying?  Scrapbooking? even as a compact workspace for creating one-off journals from scratch ~ In camp! The list seems pretty endless to me... so check back to see how it turns out... eventually!

Those two I want to build, writing desk and leather desk, are modifications of a camp desk I found doing a lil' bit of surfing on the net. I was scouting about for some creative inspiration for just those two needs. Of course, since I can't leave anything just the way it is... I've got a couple lil' tweaks of my own I'm drawing up... now all I got to do is find a source of materials layin' out here in the middle-of-nowhere desert... and start hand cutting wood! :) ... uh ... don't hold your breath... it could be a few weeks! :)

Kinda nice, to be honest, to get back to my usual scheming about "other" things, now that the decision to just squeeze all the life there is, out of This Old Rig.

'course... that leaves one thing wide open; Where in tarnashun am I gonna pack these two "Portable" desks I wanna build... in this Crowded Old Rig? ;) ... Guess I could tie 'em to the roof! ... hmmmm...

What's life without challenges, right?

Well... Ben has got hisself into a mite of difficulty... so I'd better go see if I can bail him out, one more time! ;)

Tap Tap Tappin' as Always

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When the Wind Blows... The Awning Goes

Made you look huh?! ;)

Naw, our awning didn't go away... but a time or three I've had to scramble to roll it up quick... which is a lil' tricky when the breeze is up under it and it's lifting your caboose off the ground... and ... it's 3 a.m. in the foggy brained, crosseyed morning and you're running around in a bathrobe hoping it don't blow open and give your neighbors a show!

A while back my brother-in-law ran across a guy that had built himself some criss crossed straps to tie his RV Awning down. Bud liked the design so he built one for himself...

... now me being who I are... I used what I had, picked up a couple more bits at one of the flea market shops over in Quartzsite and zipped my own version together this afternoon.

The usual design you see is a stake in the ground with a strap that runs up over an outboard corner, across to the other side and back down to another stake off the other corner.

As far as that goes it works pretty good.

Buuuut... This guy Bud run across had made what I believe is a really good variation. Rather than only a single strap he used two; and rather than just running across the RV Awning out by the roller, they run diagonally from the wall of the rig near where the awning is mounted, up and over the top arm/bar to the opposite, diagonal corner and down to the ground stake.

The result being that not only the roller is supported/tied down but the top brace bar as well... and then the crossed straps keep the RV Awning fabric itself from ballooning up and really lifting things in a breeze (spell that WIND!)

Combined with a few good "De-flapper" straps ~ I use the factory de-flapper bar plus four more after market straps...

The design Bud built uses a thumb snap he hooks into a hole in the ground base of each awning leg. The strap is laced through that snap and is sewn back on itself. The other end (at the ground stake) uses a pair of rings for a locking adjustment buckle on the 1 1/2" strap. Then, he connects the strap to the ground stake through a couple of trampoline springs to give it a lil' "give".

Well... I have a bag of tie-down winch straps from tying down the bike. On some of those, the nylon strap had got cut or rotten over time and all I've got left is mostly the winch and the hooks. Looks like an RV Awning tie down to me! ;)

Also, I had a few straps that were the friction buckle kind of tie down. You just pull on the strap to tighten it...

I'd decided I didn't like the way they worked tying down my motorcycles... so they haven't seen much service lately...

So... I used the buckle and hook ends off a pair of those...

There are a few of the Quartzsite flea market shops operating. One, is a place that sells all sorts and varieties of tools, gadgets, miscellaneous bits and pieces and gee gaws I've seen no other place.

Rolled down there this afternoon to see if anyone in the Q had what I needed... THOSE folks had Just the ticket...

 Now, the straps Bud used are 1 1/2" I believe... but... the strap winches I already posses only fit 1".

I figure... if the wind can bust a 1" nylon strap... anything it's tied to is gonna already be shredded... so it'll be plenty strong.

Also...there's enough springy stretch in those straps... I don't believe I need the trampoline springs.

I picked up two 50' rolls of 1" nylon webbing.

also... I spotted a variety of pegs for my ground stakes.

For $2 each I selected two fine looking 18" chunks of rebar with rings welded in place to secure the straps to.

Now, Bud had to wait for my sister to go shopping... so he could sneak out and run his straps through her sewing machine...

... to secure those 1 1/2"  buckles and snaps in place...

... me... being lazy and cheap...

... and using what I had... only had to lace that nice new long nylon webbing into the friction buckle of the old tie downs at one end...

... and the strap winch at the other end...

No sewing, no riveting... just lace it and go! Suh-Wheet!

I hooked the strap where I could near the base mount of the awning leg and threw the balance of the strap up over the awning...

My mounting points here are improvised/temporary. I need to afix some sort of permanent hooking point. The strap hooks are just too large to run through the holes in the leg bases.

With the strap up over the awning I laced it into the winch...

Probably gonna just pull it up and over next time. ;) I'm guessing tossin' that winch very often is juuuuust bound to end up whackin' some poor innocent passerby!

But now... with ever'thing in place and assembled... I just hooked 'er in and started crankin'!

Wa La... one cowboy modified, motorcycle tie down winch RV awning Tie Down!

Using the old winch and tie down strap hardware I already had and $12 in new strap and rebar stakes...

I'm hoping I can leave the awning down now short of a hurricane...

...and not have to go to scramblin' ever' time the wind blows...

*Criss Cross RV Awning Tie Downs*

Geeze... when I think about all the times I jumped up in the middle of the night when the wind came up... and how easy this setup was...

Makes me want to go pop another Landshark and ponder somethin'.!

Weighing the the life of a Gypsy Boondocker...

...Under my Tied down Awning.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There's More Time to Stand Back and Consider

 ... and things that can get fuzzy in the confusion that often accompanies life on the road... can come clear again.

Every year we take off from our Winter Camp and go go go all summer...  Hiking, riding, more hiking, photographing day trips... goin' down the road, zig zagging all over the west... knocking the dust of a long slow winter off the truck.

Seems like there's little time to really think much about where we're going... we just go; and then we retreat back to the desert in front of the coming winter.

It's that long winter in the sunny south when things slow down. The silent solitude of the desert lets me stand back and "judge" the past season... and how I might want to adjust the one coming up.

I have plenty of time to stand, looking out at the mountains so many miles away... and weigh which way my future should travel... and sort through the "stuff" I continue to freight around.

Each season my "outfit" seems to get lighter. Fewer clothes, fewer tools, simplified gadgets... The benefit of the occasional "inventory" is that the lighter weight I've been ending up with seems to allow easier breathing. ;)

A lot of Gadgets and Misc property are nice bits, but Only if they DO something... Only if they serve ME. Sounds mighty selfish don't it? But plain and simple; if they don't serve Me... I'm serving them. In this case there's no such thing as balance. The scales tip one way or the other.

My computers (2), my Cameras (down to one for a lil' while), my air card are all electronic gadgets that on occasion... cause me a great hassle. Like now when the main laptop remains non operational due to some internal hardware or software glitch I've been unable to get solved...

Those things, as great as their hassle, still Serve. They are absolute necessities for me to produce a hefty part of our income... so... I endure their occasional gyrations... though I am always searching for simplified ways of doing what they do.

...then... Folks are always trying to get me to hook on to some new "social" fad... this forum, that game, some time-sucking gee gaw... and they do that without success. I have my blogs and my websites... there's e-mail and cell phone texts... and there's the ever present love/hate presence of Facebook...

That's plenty for this old buster, with his feet trying to balance in two worlds, to deal with. If folks that want to, can't maintain commo with me with one of those... sorry... it's all I'm dealing with.

... This past summer and fall I spent... as we wandered, too much time it turns out, pondering a change to another/ a new / a different rig... the threat of a rig failure got a foothold in my head and tarnished our travels here and there.

Now, sitting here sheltered under the shade screen, slung from the awning of our rig, on a quiet, sunny, morning in the Spirit Liberating space of the Arizona Desert...

 ... the whole view can come back into focus... and balance. Which brings on the realization that for me... swapping rigs, at least for now... is a fools errand..

I can take on the burden of a "New" rig... or Keep this one. I can buy the parts to keep our old Jayco Eagle on the road... IF ... they should fail... or pay the price of a "New" rig... every month... failure or not.

In the quiet of this camp it seems a pretty simple choice.

This old rig ~the mobile version of This Old House! ;) ~  keeps the wind off, it keeps the rain out... and in the next few months the debt that still burdens it (Due to the failure of the system we all live in) will be an unpleasant memory.

... in effect... making nearly a 20% pay raise for us! I can live with that! :)

One more time... the Arizona Dust cleared my Vision. Suh-Wheet!

I pack along no anticipation that the difficulties that repeatedly blow up will one day vanish... nirvana only exists in the minds of socialists... but with each passing day and month... their power to change the path I've chosen grow weaker and weaker.

One day, they will become nothing more than a short stop on the trail to pull a sticker out of my sock... and will occupy no more memory than that.

I have discovered that the Fable of The Healing Power of the Open Road...  is No Fable.

The future... belongs to those who Seize it.

Armored by the Power of the Open Road

Monday, November 19, 2012

It Don't Mean Nuthin'...

A Long ways back... in the Army... We had a sayin'; "It don't mean nuthin'."

It's what we looked at each other and said when some bozo with bars on his collar... or scrambled eggs on his brim spewed some nonsense that made us crosseyed with trying to understand what sort of logic got them to thinkin' that what they were tellin' us was gonna do anyone any good... or achieve anything.

In the end... all we had was each other; and the garbage that bit of Soh-sigh-uh-tee dumped on us was meaningless; So don't waste time and life tryin' to understand it.

In the 41 years or so since those days... this old world hasn't come much clearer to me... except for the realization that; It don't mean nuthin'... is as true today as it ever was.

I'm the sort that stews over all the injustices and cruelties in the world. Where some turn soft and pacifist, just "Lookin' for a soft place to land"... I tend toward; Hunt the thief down and dent a 2x4 on his head...

But... then you're layin' out in the desert all out of breath with the dust stickin' to the sweat you worked up... and Nuthin' has changed...

Best thing is to put your hands in your pockets... shake your head... Tell yourself; It don't mean nuthin'... and walk off from it.

It's a piece of work for this old bike ridin' buster to do that. I have never achieved the ability to do it on auto pilot. It's something I have to have a deliberate focus on, and crank up my will power and discipline to make happen.

I've never run off from anything in my life and it seems in a way like quittin'... even if those "Things" that get under a man's skin are those things which he never has and will never have any ability or power to change.

Ahhh... just put my hands in my pockets and take a walk. Find lil' guys like this...

Don't know where he's goin' and I'm pretty sure he don't give two hoots what foolishness "Other" orange butted critters like him are up to.

... he's pretty focused on his own lil' piece of this world and his personal needs in it...

He's got a simple life... Hunt up groceries... find a place to shelter for the night...

... rinse... repeat... and no other bugs tellin' him whether he's doin' it right or not...

If you'd asked me forty years ago if I'd be jealous of a bug I'd have thought ya'll was nuts... one of those mantra hummin' kooks in a bed sheet in the airport...

Today? I'm thinkin' there just might be quite a lil' bit we could learn from a bug... if we could understand his speech...

Might even be nice if we could ever even learn to learn from history...

Here's a bit of the shadows of time...

My shadow... layin' across the tracks of Patton's tanks... laid down nearly 70 years ago!!!

... and look around... the world ain't learned a damned thing has it...

So what do I do? What do any of us do?

Accept that old saying that carried us boys along; It don't mean nuthin'. 

There's only one thing any of us can do I expect... change the only thing we can... Our selves. That's all we have any control of...

... and walk off from the rest... 

*The Plomosa Mountains*

I know where I'm healthy and strong. Fulfilled and ridin' quiet...

... and what sticks in my craw and puts a lump in my saddle... I know what I've got to Walk Away from... and I keep on workin' at gettin' better at doin' just that.

Out here in the desert you see such as this quite a bit...

Not spectacular, stunning views. Just the quiet strength of a land that seeps into your soul and quiets the argufyin' that rattles around in your head. It's these places... seen from standing in it ... or rolling through on my bike... just quiet and watching, that puts everything into proper perspective for me... over and over again.

Every time the world kicks me out of balance, it's these simple quiet places that return that sense of balance to me.

I don't need to understand how this place was made. I don't need the spectacular... I need the space and the quiet... and the soft voice such places whisper to me with; it don't mean nuthin'...

... and maybe... just might could be... I need to sustain some sort of sense of mystery... of wonder... and yes... I adore the long views of Far Country... over and over and over again... They feed my soul.

Just Living Life

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wisdom or Bull Feces?

Damn... some people are so full of themselves... and... that's the nice way of saying; Loaded up with Bull Feces.

There is "A Blogger" who delights in darkening and trying to extinguish the Joys of people living in this creation the Boss has provided us. It continues to amaze me that the anemic nature and light weight of such a philosophy seems to escape that individual.

Listen... I got up this morning to a Joyous day. As I wrote many years back, the sun was just rising over the mountains back to the east...

*Sunrise over the Arizona Desert Near Quartzsite*

 ... and illuminating the ridges off across the desert to the west...

The sweet scent of the creosote bush, the paloverde and the mesquite filled my lungs on the soft morning breeze... so soft the branches of the trees didn't move... I could just feel its soft touch on my face...

That someone can't seem to grasp the spirit filling joy of such a small and precious gift is a sadness... but it is THEIR loss and their closed mind... Not Mine.

It is NOT a "Post Card" as it has been erroneously trivialized... it is the Joyous Spirit of this far land that feeds my Soul... and ANY soul that is kept open and receptive to its Power.

Sure it is easy to see the sheer power and Beauty of Zion... The Grand Canyon... Glacier... and all the other places we have journeyed...

But this desert where we rest now, that so many call barren and desolate... for me is filled with a Joyous power far beyond the comprehension of the small "scientific" minds that exclude such SPIRIT.

I see heart filling beauty in the simple, un-spectacular vistas... EVERY time I stand IN them...

Where others can only see what's happened 265 million years ago... I REVEL in the Vital and Vibrant LIFE that surrounds me TODAY.

I REFUSE to be so small minded that I belittle or defame the joys that give others fulfillment and value.

I Treasure the exquisitely serene beauty of the rocks... RED or otherwise... that pave the trails I follow... I come back to those favorite treasured spots over and over and over... because as they were beautiful the FIRST time I saw them... they are ever more Shining with each return to familiar and known places...

... where with each return I learn new facets of the personality of that place...

To look at a Glorious, Towering Mountain... with some sort of mindless "National Lampoon Vacation" perspective... and see something STATIC... is beyond my comprehension... for such people, I am sad.

*The Boss's Morning Light begins to shine on  Arizona Mountains*

Joy... that can be sustained is not contained in the Grand and the Spectacular... but in the every day bits and pieces of this life.

... It is beaten down and buried by the negative, belittling, bull feces spread by those who only seek ways to tear down the joy others have found; for reasons I can't fathom, and which are unworthy of study...

...if they can't learn and grow... walk away... exclude them from your life, as they exclude the joy that is there to fill your eyes and your very soul... if only you will allow it.

*Sunrise over my favorite Quartzsite Mountain :) *

And if you do that .... you will also find the joys of sharing your Sweet life with other travelers along your trail...

*Like Buck and Lily's new buddy... Cisco!*

... and you'll appreciate the exquisite serenity of the soft and un-spectacular sunsets that are the prelude... to your next Sunrise...

*Serenity of an Arizona Sunset*

Seek Out Joy... Not that "Other" Stuff Manure Salesmen Shovel