Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dirt Baggery in the desert pt. 2

Home and unpacked – never my favorite part of a camping trip. 

I promise I'll go back still and give a little more detail about the trip. There's so much and yet so little to tell. I loved it, I loved it so much. I didn't do a lot, really, didn't meet that many people, didn't ride that much. It was one of those things that is very undramatic in the telling, really had to be there. 

But there were a few people, and there was some riding, and there was a lot of ... being present, in the very moment. That's what it really boiled down to. The primitive things: Where do I sleep? What do I eat? Where can I get water? How do I stay warm? How do I get to where I want to go? I didn't do much reading, or writing, or think deep thoughts or make elaborate meals or go out of my way to make new friends. 

The beauty was in the existing, in the quiet, in that moment, whatever it was. 

And there was beauty.

From here it seems so far removed, flashes of memories and sensations from that week – this week? - those days sleeping in a car, waking in the cold dark and eating outside, wrapping cold hands around a warm tin camp mug – you know the kind, speckled blue - filled with maple oatmeal. Filling up every water container every opportunity I got, never sure when I'd get my next chance. 

The dramatic stormy skies of the Fruita valley, windy days and windy nights and cliffs of indescribable and shifting colors - greys and greens and browns and sand - and everywhere sage and tumble weeds. 

Alone but not lonely.

And then later, in Moab, a different desert, warmth and color. The desert colors - red red rocks and red red sand, soft like suede, and improbably blue skies and that desert sun, something about that bold morning desert sun touching a land still grasping night’s chill. 

Flashes and sensations, did it all really happen? 

Pete says it’s lucky I came back when there’s only two days left in my work week, so I can ease back into real life because coming down off vacation is traumatic. I’d be more sad and desperate for it all if I weren’t going back in two weeks – twelve days! 

But I’ll be back so soon, albeit in entirely different circumstances. Friends and laughter and hot showers in motels after long hot days of riding on dusty trails. 

And then I’ll be gone from there without knowing when I might return, and I think then I’ll feel a little desperate with the ache for that desert, that unlikely landscape, those adventurous unbridled solitary days in that strange yet known place.

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