Return is the Tao of Leaving
I left Fort Stockton before sun-up and Houston the day before after an unanticipated delay caused a change in direction – don’t ask. The ride today was magisterial. It felt like the trip had finally begun five-hundred and four-miles from home. A few hours down the road I saw the Chiricahua Mountains for the first time since the Christmas Holidays of 1981 … Margaret & I were driving to Bisbee, Arizona to celebrate finishing college. Margaret chose Bisbee like she did all our destinations. Research! Arriving in Bisbee and to our surprise, we found an abandoned copper mining town taken-over by hippie squatters. It was like a movie. Where would we stay? Now there’s a tale but sorry, what happened in Bisbee stays in Bisbee. The hike in the Chiricahua Mountains Park made the trip. Such a magical place. The photo above is actually from the Apache Rest Area just outside Van Horn in West Texas. In my travels West I always stop there, eat a brown bag lunch, water the cactus, and shoot the mountain. This time it was still morning. I think morning is best for this mountain – a gentle introduction to the stone monuments ahead in Arizona. The shot below is a Chiricahua upthrust. Neither shots do justice to the photos we took with our old Pentax 35mm film camera. That amazing relic stares at me still from the bookshelf. Where are those photos? The Chiricahua Mountains contain the most bizarre formations we ever saw in our travels together. The shot here only hints at the towering forest of stone labyrinths inside the park.
Leaving is the Tao of Return
It was quite shocking to see that park entrance after all these years. A couple shots roadside was all I could muster. Riding away, I thought back to that epic celebratory trip and imagined that I shall remember it forever – a story for another time. Next stop, Phoenix.
Hampton Inn, Fort Stockton, Texas … pre-sunrise, 14 hours and two time zones to Phoenix … the longest ride I’ve ever done – September 2nd 2013
Author Notes – Update January 7th 2018:
This post is the first that tells of my 30 day trip in September 2013, from Houston to Santa Barbara to Big Sur to Carmel to Napa Valley to Central Valley to Yosemite over to Hollister to Pebble Beach back to the Wine Country for the MS-150 finish in Sonoma Village to Napa again to see Dr. John then to the San Joaquin Valley to Grand Canyon to Albuquerque, back to Fort Stockton to Austin to Margaret’s Memorial in Washington County and finally back home to Houston where I stepped off the Harley, unpacked it, covered it, and never rode it again … it sits today where I left it on October 1st 2013, untouched … the next week I bought a light nimble BMW G650GS bike that I ride nearly every day … the Harley had become hallowed and the world safer
My reaction to Margaret and our life together continues to grow and so does my reaction to the Long Ride that September of 2013 – stay tuned …