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Thread: "The Oasis of my Soul"... a Lifelong Journey...

  1. #826
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    Tentative book front cover and excerpts. TX


    We are literally coming up for air being in between the second and third edits of our book "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash". I am realizing we [Spirit also!] have so totally hibernated and as the second edit ended yesterday, I felt as my fuses had blown.

    I read today, written by "Anais Nin":

    "We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"

    It has been three months of intense retrospect.

    Our editor loves the book, I posted some excerpts just yesterday on our journal and the feedback has been very positive. Myself? an opinion? I don't know... besides finding our past seven years having been interesting mental and physical path with positive choices made.
    We live in such a beautiful country, everyone of course has a taste of their own when it comes to the outdoors, we ourselves try to find the desolate beauty which surrounds us.

    I want to say "we will be off for about a week"! It does sound kind of strange as being off 24/7, yet in contrast with these past months it does make sense to me as I have no doubt Spirit also agrees.
    We are off towards Big Bend National Park. I already know some corner will be waiting for us and the cameras will be put to work again.

    As a good friend of ours said the other day "there is no deadline for this book, is there?". My answer was "not really". Maybe another month or so.

    We do miss the road and the unknown behind every boulder seen.


    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

  2. #827
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    Taking a breather between edits in Big Big Bend National Park. Tx

    The stages here at The Oasis and in the park are very similar. It is a gift when throughout these winter times one can within comfortable temperatures roam around 900,000 acres only a few miles away. Every fall I tell myself "we are not coming back", and yet, here we are, the space calling us like a magnet. Baja in Mexico would probably the only other region I would consider while still away from the crowds as the plus would be the beaches. Maybe next winter.

    It was a fine time at the park, a change of scenery while taking a breather between edit #2 and #3 of "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash". Some nice riding, meeting travelers going around the world in their Unimog and Landcruiser, cooking on the grill, just being while watching the sun go by followed by the moon right behind it.

    Would I ever consider writing at some point Book #2? I doubt it very much. Would I recommend anyone to write one Book? Yes! Absolutely. It is consuming, it demands discipline and for myself an environment of silence and peace unencumbered from any urban aspect. Everyone has a story to tell worthy of others to read.

    It is easy and hard all at the same time. It is demanding especially when the contents are non-fiction. Unable to live in the now the mind is constantly hovering over the past dates which fills the pages. Then comes the edits which is what we are going through right now. Can one really write a 90,000 word book without any errors? They say it is possible. I yet have to find out. Soon.

    There are times I ask myself "why am I doing this?", other times a sense of accomplishment takes places as all is more of a personal challenge than anything else. One more month! It will then go to the printers. Digitally and physically.



    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them.

  3. #828
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    "Dogs and Spiritual Materialism"

    This would be the first time in over seven years while keeping a journal, posting an entry a friend, "Damun Gracenin", wrote. Obviously about dogs... "Dogs" with a capital "D".

    It was just too good to not share as myself and Spirit while together 24/7 see and understand the reality of the meaning and words of it all.

    Besides, the nights and days here are filled with the past pages of the book which is now entering its fourth edit. I must say, while driving my editor "crazy", for lack of a better word.

    The experience is fulfilling. Some days are good, some not so good as the road does not cease calling our names. Yet, there is nowhere else we should be while here under good weather, silence and neighbors miles away. Another month? At the most I would say.

    Our previous journal entry has a couple videos. One where I changed the angle of the camera facing Spirit and the other, again of Spirit, this time in the evening wearing his "new" Halo Belt collars. The company has a great future no doubt.They are optic fiber LED belts which also can be worn over the shoulder when riding and the same LED's as collars. Besides hearing Spirit's Bear bell, I can now also see where he is. Pretty amazing.

    So till next time while I start on some chores here throughout this break. Maybe start packing!!!



    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

  4. #829
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    Captain of our Souls, TX

    Life can be an amazing feat sometimes in charge of our path and at times not. Often we fall right in between hoping the cracks are not too deep.

    The realization of an addiction came upon me last Sunday when after days on end, non stop pounding the keyboard throughout a fifth edit of the book [or is the sixth?] I shut it all down and on we went for a 400 mile ride. Life on the road is "addicting", so is riding. I can only very poorly express it, one has to experience it. Chatting always goes along on those road with the few we always bump into. Spirit is invariably most of the times the culprit.

    While here, could be in Terlingua, the Park, Marathon or Alpine as it happened that day, the choices of destinations are many. The truth is, no destination is needed. We just go. No clock in sight, just a glance as to where the sun is and the wandering takes place.

    I didn't think we would have to sit this long throughout winter, yet all is so close to a finish line. I had to give myself and others a deadline, we are are on the home stretch. March 10th is when the manuscript will be applied for Copyrights and on immediatly will start the many publishing steps in all the electronic formats and soft cover.

    That day ride was a fine one. The best we have had in weeks. We could not get enough of it and returned past sunset watching the nightly show from a different vantage point than here at The Oasis. And now, to my surprise, another week has almost gone by. I think tomorrow will be time again to let it all out and implement that addiction of ours.

    There are more thoughts on the Journal. Riding and thinking goes hand in hand. As I wrote, sometimes serious, often silly.


    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them

  5. #830
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    Reconciliation with Life. TX

    Five months later, the last punctuation has been typed, the manuscript of "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash" has moved on to the publishers. It is time to pack up and move on rolling on our familiar path of unfamiliar roads. The present has seen a bit of a void and much free time surfacing back into our days. An odd feeling mixed in with a sense of accomplishment. It will be a couple more months before publication, I must have patience.

    I am trying to decipher a route to Florida as far as Cedar Key, then back up to Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, those familiar neighborhoods we left years ago. All this hoping to be back to Southern Utah early May to enjoy some coolness in their deserts before having to escape more north.

    Oil changes, new tires, clean up a starter, making a list, following that list, all will be part of the coming up ten days before we leave. It is all part of regrouping, a familiar scene always I must say exciting while knowing we belong to the road and nowhere else.

    Spring is right around the corner for us! New destinations, looking forward to much photography and many new videos. That is about the whole content of our lives, Spirit and I.




    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

  6. #831
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    The road calls...

    It is that time. Time to head East which will include Florida and Georgia [meaning "Two Wheels of Suches" on Friday April 11th for a few nights!] and back to Southern Utah before the summer heat takes over Valley of the Gods. I am so much looking forward seeing friends we have left behind years ago. Some nice campfires as I know the stories will fly.

    The contents of our book is being handled by a very knowledgeable trustworthy Publisher. The cover is taking shape, it is not the final version but close to it. It will be a few more weeks before being available in soft cover and all lectronic formats.

    There is excitement in the air while thinking a bit ahead of the new upcoming days, each morning being a curtain rise for a new experiences, adventures, people met, photos taken and videos made. How could I ever turn my back on such a Lifestyle. I think it is too late to do so.

    Three days left and suddenly on this Monday I cannot lose a single hour packing it all in. We have done this so many times, yet it always feels brand new. It is all pretty amazing I must say, we are on the road for a "permanent picnic!".

    Mother Nature is gifting us these last days spend at The Oasis with some incredible Sunsets,, a Sunrise while the Moon at the same time is setting, colors unimaginable while riding the many miles of dirt roads to nowhere and now again, much more time for cooking.

    All in the Journal...




    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

  7. #832
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    A day at the Dragon Boat Festival in New Iberia, LA

    We are covering a lot of territory as today only 150 miles south of Atlanta. It feels odd, strange, at the same time as we just took a long ride and back to refuel before heading West one more time... for a few more years. Has been 89 months, roughly 2700 days, we have barely crossed the starting line.

    While spending a few days in New Iberia with a very Dear Friend of ours, we attended the Dragon Boats races. This is as close as we will get to a Mardi Gras. I think.

    The weather? We have been watched over. Open skies while getting to Vidor to visit more Friends, the same while en route for Louisiana and throughout our stay. As soon as we left bad storms took on New Iberia. Dark skies but calm while renewing my Driver's License in Pensacola and arriving in Georgia through Alabama right behind the creeks flooding yet receding for us. What can I say?

    Enjoy the photos. We sure had a good time and much food those days. Mainly shrimp and crawfish. Two items I have been dreaming about while sitting and writing our book those few months in the Big Bend Desert at The Oasis. It will be published in a few more weeks after more proofing.




    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

  8. #833
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    Tasting Valley of the Gods, Utah.

    All I can say is "WOW! we made it...". East Coast and back, we are good for a few more years.

    Trying to stay ahead of summer and so far so good in and around Valley of the Gods, I must say, one of my all time favorite space to be in and dig our roots a bit deeper than usual. We have been all alone this time around with easy access, I have not seen anyone else camp out on this beautiful 17 mile loop. A couple visitors, some good friends, nothing planned, but they showed up! That is the way we like it as planning never works out.

    The weather suddenly is not very promising for the yearly outing of balloonist which get together every last weekend of April. They don't get along so well with rains, winds and storms. The surprise element is definitly present.

    The marathon from these past weeks is over, the calendar and clock are once again put away, the internet connections are weaker than ever, lucky [or unlucky!] if any, there is a sense of regained freedom and tackle our journey as we use to.

    The publication of our book is moving right along. More details in our journal with photos and a video shot in the Georgia Mountains on Highway 60 to "Two Wheels of Suches" I called "Sitting, Riding and... Leaning".

    Enjoy




    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

  9. #834
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    Around Moab... Utah

    Sometimes the weather will just not quit telling us to move on as it happened while in Valley of the Gods and nearby Mokey Dugway, Gooseneck, Monument Valley. We took refuge, seemingly as it had happened in years past, in Bluff. Then came time to move on again while needing a real Internet connection, you guessed it maybe, for one more proofing of our book! It seems it is never going to end even if the finish line is getting very close.

    This area of course is one of our favorite spaces with too many choices every day of roads and amazing sights. A bit crowded at times, but we get around it.The weather is our friend for now, nice and cool and even so snow projected at higher elevations. A bit of maintenance on Old Faithful including a new rear tire and we are again ready to explore what we have seen before, yet, always being as the first time.

    While sheltered I was reading an interesting French book and for some reason decided to translate its first few pages having to do with the mystery of the beginning of times along with some photos taken in Arches National Park. That is what our new entry is all about. Much mystery and unanswered questions.

    Enjoy




    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?


    www.theoasisofmysoul.com The Journal

  10. #835
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    Validation of Life on the Road, Utah

    Every month, week and day of the year is a good one for us. Has to be as it is a choice. But these weeks are for lack of a better expression ?the meat and potatoes? of the year when we chase northbound the cooler weather staying ahead of the upcoming summer heat. It is quite a game we play. Maps in hand, three different forecast software and sometimes even some thinking!

    Southern Utah including Valley of the Gods, Muley Point and Recaptured Pocket have been experienced. The digits on the thermometer went up and we moved on to the Moab area. We are spoiled avoided ?hot?. The town itself is the center for all outdoor activities, so pleasant especially during the week, great food markets including my favorite butcher in the country ?Old Geezer?. We did not last too long in the Arches as my patience with the ?fast? tourists drove me to a certain animosity, but Kane Creek Road, La Sal Loop, Potash Road, Schaffer Trail and so much more saw us throughout this perfect time of the year.

    Staying ahead we are now in Colorado. A few isolated nights around Blue Mesa Lake bringing on mid 30's again throughout the nights and now for a few days in Gunnison needing a real good Internet connection. Our book has finally been uploaded to the printer. It is in what they call ?pre-media? stage. As soon as approved which I am sure it will be as the formatters helping me have been the best, a real copy will be mailed to our Editor and myself for the last of the last proofing! We are more or less at the mercy of a good mailing address and a strong connection. What a long process this has been since early October 2013, but done right.

    Lake City? Lake San Cristobal? Crested Butte? Lost Lake? So much for us to wander to while we wait. It will not be long...

    The photos keep piling up!


    Enjoy




    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?


    www.theoasisofmysoul.com The Journal

  11. #836
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    The right prescription! Colorado.

    We shall be in Colorado for a while and when that time comes to exit, there will still be spaces awaiting for our next go around. The roads are endless and so are the sights. The people here are of the nicest. Relaxing by the shores of the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Gunnison, back to Lake City and Lake San Cristobal where even in bad weather we felt energized, walking around in familiar Crested Butte topped with some of the greatest fish tacos, Highway 114 to Saguache, up 285 and back on 50 through Monarch Pass, stopping map in hand discovering the so many BLM lands offering free camping, so much more.

    We do not ride every day. We pick the nice ones, the ones with the big blue Colorado skies spotted with the cottonball clouds playing hide and seek with the sun. The temperatures are cool, mosquitoes are absent, this has been the definition of perfection.

    I can't even tell, or maybe want to know, if we are still in springtime or has summer started? These months are promising as we are getting into this path I must say we have missed all winter.

    There is nothing as good as being on the road complemented by many photos and a few videos posted on our journal even if we are here and they are dated from a recent past in Utah. It's all good.


    Enjoy.


    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?


    www.theoasisofmysoul.com The Journal
    www.beemerchef.smugmug.com The Photos

  12. #837
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    The Birth of our Book! CO

    I must say that the feeling holding your own book for the first time is unlike anything else. Almost. The ripened fruit of interminable hours spent writing, editing, proofing, on the phone with our editor and finally the logistics of formatting for soft cover and electronic devices. I forget, the cover design! Dealing with the printer, Amazon, the ISBN numbers, bar codes and... waiting. Waiting while the logistics being on the road do not make it easy for true communications, not just simple e-mail exchanges but the upload and download of documents. Yet, it is done... almost feeling as new chapters now need to start, the continuation of the past ones. They already have.

    I hope I do not get in trouble announcing on this page the availability of ?Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash?. There are no funds for a marketing campaign!

    Our book, if wanting it autographed by the both of us, is available through the links on our Journal or simply through Amazon also as a soft cover and electronic format [Kindle]. I am sure there will be more formats besides Kindle real soon.

    In the meantime, we managed to explore a bit more of this area and its richness. There are even a couple new videos on our latest Journal entry. One going up Cottonwood Pass still all white capped with snow and another one on our way to Taylor Park Reservoir. More time also in Crested Butte. How can we not within that always welcoming little town. A few more photos of Spirit clowning around as usual and that about does it for our new entry besides writing about how truly Spirit was rescued.


    Yes, they are pretty exciting times and always so appreciative of your support. Enjoy.



    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

    www.theoasisofmysoul.com The Journal and Book

  13. #838
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    Lake San Cristobal. Reconnecting with Nature. CO


    ?Read your book over the weekend?absolutely touched my heart & spirit!!! It is one of those rare books that make you ?feel? in all the right areas of your emotions and life?thank you for sharing your travels and life with all of us!!! I felt at every page that I was right there, seeing, hearing and smelling?"

    ?Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash?


    Thank You Chris...

    I know, cheap marketing but that is all I can do, afford rightly so.

    We headed to Lake San Cristobal for a week on it's cliffs taking in the view and the lack of Internet! The camping was not free this time around but the sights are worth the $15 a night. Five nights actually.

    Lake City has been in a total black out with Internet and I must say it was funny to walk the streets a bit, or sit on one of the benches watching the world go around, while hearing the tourists out loud wondering what they were ?now going to do??. Comments were as ?will have to walk around?, ?will have to take in the sights? and on and on.

    The Editor of the local Newspaper even wrote on their Facebook page that the town's sidewalks were buzzing! A sign of the times... Life without Internet must be the worst punishment I think today's society could endure. I personally know a few that will have the shakes [true story] if their Internet goes down... SAD.

    The area of course was familiar to us. It is a bit of a retreat just being and finding again ourselves before heading North one more time.

    More photos and comments in our Journal. Enjoy.



    Till next time.

    Stay well.

    Ara and Spirit

    8th Year, the Stars, living under them?

    www.theoasisofmysoul.com The Journal and Book

    www.beemerchef.smugmug.com The Photos

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