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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wanderluck Strikes Again


If you will indulge a moment of rare, and I mean really, really rare, glass-half-full philosophical reflections from an unrepentant cynic, I think it will be worth your time ("Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But God is a myth, a fairytale for the weak of mind).


I don't like doing something stupid any more than the next guy; I'm old enough to be Solomon Wise, after all. I was trying to find someone to share blame for this tranny fiasco...someone like my parents; if it wasn't for their wander-lusted DNA, I wouldn't be roaming around in the boonies trying to find myself, let alone the next Pulitzer Prize winning photograph/Blog Post. No, I'd be like most Americans...sitting on their couches in front of the boob tube, watching Dr Phil and Dancing With The Stars...or shuffling papers behind a desk while mindlessly holding a texting conversation with eight people at a time. Why can't I let it go...trying to get Goldie perfectly level on a mountainside campsite? Note to self: When leveling boulders begin to exceed two feet in diameter, you may want to look for another site.  

We have just about squeezed all the juice we can get from this winter's grapes, playing with friends in all the various and sundry desert landscapes of Arid-zona. Now, limping home with Goldie's tail between her legs, I am reminded of the ending of a favorite childhood movie...the exception being that "Old Yeller" isn't quite dead yet. 

We're making the best out of our last days...aimlessly wandering backroads in Utah, living moment to moment, cherishing the final hours...a little down in spirit but still squeezing those grapes for the last drop. Tomorrows problems don't come till tomorrow, and even though the roses are wilting...they're still mighty pretty and smell oh so sweet.

That's when we made a random turn onto a lesser Utah backroad. And from that lesser backroad we probe lesser backroads, looking for a level boondock for Goldie. We try and fail, try and fail...backing out...tired...bickering. I am boorishly stubborn, got it from my mom, so we push on...in search of another lesser backroad bastard son-of-a-lesser backroad. 

Bobbie follows in my rearview mirror, tired, needing a camp. The lesser road spits after a mile or so and I take the lesser fork, holding the "less is more" principle to its literal definition in spite of the odds.  Goldie's squeezed by shoulders of soft sand...there is not one single place to turn around. One mile, two, then three...four: "God Damn, where are the campsites? Doesn't anybody pull over and boondock in Utah?" Five or six miles in we settle for a wide spot in the road and set camp. Only a couple of vehicles pass by...looking at us like we are crazy fools. I want to shout, "We Are Crazy, so what!" but just smile and nod...like a fool. 

It's getting late. We need a walk before dark. Down the road a half mile we drop into a random canyon to kill a couple of hours. It's entry is steep and potholed with tanks full of water. By trial and error we find a way to the bottom and wade Utah's notorious red sand. The canyon gobbles us up...deeper; deeper. 

A massive overhang looms to our left and we follow foot tracks to its base. There are voices, faint, distant, but we find no one. A few more steps and we are stopped in our own tracks...stunned by what lay before our tired eyes.

Come, as Life explains to me why we must get off the couch, why we must do what we do, the reasons we heed the restless "call of the wild." It is for the slightest chance of discovery...wondrous places that satisfy the itch deep within, if only for a moment...here, in some random remote canyon bottom in Utah. 

God bless Utah, and while You are at it, Lord, go ahead and bless my parents too. 

































18 comments:

  1. Yup you found a beautiful spot. One that is a rare and soul replenishing find. Glad you were able to find just such a spot!

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  2. Wow! What a find: quiet, remote, and the spiritual thrill of exploring an Anasazi site that few have seen. It's amazing what you call random turns are actually choices you made based on experience and taking the risk to explore. Thanks for sharing the pictures of back country of Utah.
    John Q

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  3. Walden creek rv steveApril 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Mark-- I have debated Brian over the merits of the winter in the south and the wonders of the west-- Your blog and pictures have made it no contest_ oh how Disney world would try in failure to recreate the beauty-(of course you would have to wait in line for a few hours for a peak! But competing with the big guy would of course be hopeless- But -hey there are always western road trips-take care - safe trip home!

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  4. What a find!! Truly what makes life worth living. You may be limping home, but you're darn well enjoying the scenery along the way.
    Nina

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  5. A beautiful find - and a great place to recharge your spirit.

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  6. Your photos just took my breath away. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. And you just fell onto this?!

    My glass is so much more often half-full these days than in our old life.

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  8. I didn't understand your words or your message today in your post but your photos have come in loud and clear and spectacular!

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  9. Truly incredible...both the photos and your storytelling. Thank you.

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  10. You are truly blessed, not by god, and may not even know it. Looks like original wood vegas. Amazing!

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  11. Those voices? Oh, I think they were calling you! Thanks for sharing such an awesome experience.

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  12. Can't wait to visit Utah again after seeing your photos.
    You are brave to travel those back roads in ailing Goldie. Hope she gets you back to Ouray!

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  13. You deserved to find that spot! The voices were calling you for a break..

    I will bless your parents and I'm ever so happy you found this in Utah, but I just can't find it in myself to bless that state. So bles you for sharin'!!!

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  14. Absolutely amazing! What an amazing find! So neat!

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  15. Wow! What a find. Beautiful pictures!

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  16. Awesome pictures and a great day you had, thanks for sharing!

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  17. Amazing somehow seems to fall short of the splendor - how about "amen"?

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  18. LOVE that photo of Bobbie looking through the window with the petroglyph off to the right. Blow that up and frame it when you get home! ;)

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