philosophyon-line dating#12

I just got the news. The most important part for getting my car running again won’t be in till Monday. So, that gives me some time for reflection.

Why am I doing this drive?
And will it help my on-line dating?

You may have noticed in past writings the notion that experiences are better when shared. There are, of course, some activities that just can’t be done alone. But I even speculated that scenes were better when viewed with others.
I no longer believe that is true. I have seen what is for me the prettiest thing in nature.IMG_3670aThis is Grand Prismatic Springs in Yellowstone. I am blown away in love with it. And unfortunately, my camera setups are not ideal for capturing it. My big camera can’t get far enough away and elevated and my phone is better for closeups, which you don’t get the stunning effect of this place up close.IMG_0160
Never the less, it is a stunning sight and in no way diminished because I was alone. I believe I am able to gain insight from this and it is not to use a metaphor like you can’t be too close or something like that. No, I believe that what I took for enhancement because of company was rather that I was being drawn to the present, a state of mind that I’ve been trying to reach more recently, a state of mind that I hardly even knew how to spell before.

I think I’m really begin to get it. Take these mechanical breakdowns I’ve been having. I can distinctly remember in the past the level of stress that would appear at even the hint of a mechanical problem. “OMG, am I going to break down? Can I afford the repair bill? Will I be late?” Truthfully I can declare that none of that has occurred on this trip. Life will be and my worrying about it will not improve the situation.
IMG_3623a

Driveabout#29

I arrived in Charlotte late, with innumerable mosquito bites and a very loud knocking coming from the engine. I’m calm and collected.

Arranging an appointment, I drive my (loud) car this morning to the dealership.
The first thing he says is I’ll need a new engine. I tell him I hope not and head out to get breakfast. When I get back, I’m relieved to hear the engine is fine. There is an engine cover that is not. One that had been involved in some preventative maintenance I had done before heading out on this drive. I’m told it will be two days to get parts, these things usually don’t break.

As I wait to hear how many things have to be redone I just shake my head.
Life is complicated, however it is our choice on how annoyed to be.

I’m not doing much in Charlotte except visit. They are experiencing a heat wave and I find it miserable out there. Can’t wait for the snow to start.

Driveabout#28

It works. The parts arrive. Danny arrives, has the right tools and gets the job done. I leave Roy about 5pm, having left Danny some drinking money and heartfelt thanks.

Being somewhat wiser than I was years ago I stop in 10 miles to check the tightness of the lug nuts. Some are loose. I tighten them up and drive another 10 miles. This goes on for several more iterations, which makes driving a 1000 miles go by real slow. Eventually I screw my courage up to stopping after 20 miles. Then 30. Then 50. Then 100. Then I make it to New Orleans.

Upon arrival I was welcomed most vociferously by the local … mosquitoes. It is 7pm, 92 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Not my kind of weather. But one thing this trip is reinforcing is that there are all kinds of people and they all do not have to like or do the same thing. Viva la difference.

Saturday I head over to party. As I’m driving along one of the canals, I swear, I watch as an alligator snaps up an egret. Debating quickly on whether I should stop or whether I should not get out in this weather, I lost, turned around, grabbed my camera and went after a picture.
IMG_3860a
Interesting country.

The party was great. Lots of their friends and relatives and one strange dude that drove all the way from Washington.

Tomorrow, I head out towards Charlotte, North Carolina to a brother that is actually looking forwards to me visiting. On the road again.

Driveabout#27

So, I luck out. The clutch problem is the simplest of the possibilities, a leaking hydraulic line. There is even a replacement part in town. Colin, the mechanic squeezes me in (remember, no appointment) and I’m back on the road by 3pm. I cut across cool little mountain roads, even dirt at times and come out on the high plains of New Mexico. The sun is nearly setting as I come across a beautiful gorge cut out by the Canadian river. I race through hoping to find the right scenery, but fail. On the other side I keep looking back at the way the sunset is shaping up. Finally I stop to capture the moment. When I start up again I immediately feel something wrong with the car. I pull over, get out and OMG, my back rear wheel has four (out of 5) missing lug nuts. And by missing I mean not only are the nuts gone, but the studs they screw on to are broken off. There is one nut, barely holding the wheel on.

I jack the car up and tighten that one nut, wishing that the studs hadn’t broken. If they were still there then I could have stolen one nut from each wheel and been in pretty decent shape. But no. The next town on the map is ROY, NM, but I don’t know how far away I am. Do I walk, call for a tow, try to drive? Pulling out my phone I see I have no reception. But I did back where I just had my last photo shoot. Where I’m parked the road is rising towards Roy, so I start walking in that direction, figuring that I’ll get reception back when I get to the top of the rise. About half way up the hill I flag down a passing truck. He informs me Roy is just 4 miles from here and the road is in good shape. Thanking him I go back to my car and decide to drive to town. Stopping occasionally to check the wheel and not going over 10mph I arrive in Roy.

It is 8pm, dark and gone to bed. I literally walk down the middle of the main drag scoping out what my possibilities might be in the morning. Up at 7 I start walking around. The only thing open is a funky coffee shop run by Claudia. I begin to explain my problem when she interrupts and said aren’t I the guy who walked 4 miles to town. News travels fast in small towns. After explaining the situation and correcting the story, btw with the couple of locals that were in drinking coffee we got the story to be that no, I hadn’t walked into town. Instead I had picked up that corner of my car and pushed it into town. After all, my car was sitting just over there.

Anyway, she calls Justin to get advice, seems he’s the practical one in town. But Justin is about to leave for Colorado, but he suggests, if need be, we could probably figure a way to get towed to the next town that might have parts, because there was no way parts were to be found in Roy, not for a Subaru. At 8 I walked over to Rick’s gas station to ask if I got the parts could he install them. He said he wasn’t really a mechanic and would not be comfortable doing that. However, he was pretty sure Danny could do it after work. He’d track Danny down and ask. So I went back to Claudia’s. One of the locals, Marlin, said he was taking his uncle in to a doctor’s appointment today in Sante Fe and he would be happy to pick the parts up for me and be back by 4-4:30. I said great. Justin stopped in to see how the situation was doing. In a couple of hours Marlin called and said he had the parts. Then Rick stopped in and said Danny would do the work for me.

Isn’t it great when a plan works out. These people have been super stellar. Now I just have to wait and if all goes well I’ll hit the road this evening. Because I do have a wedding reception to get to outside New Orleans by Saturday.IMG_3850aIMG_3852a

Driveabout#26

Here I sit in a very cute coffee shop in Taos, NM waiting for a call.
The call to tell me the state of my car.
It’s broken.
There I was on a very high pass between Pagosa Springs and Taos looking over the vastness of New Mexico.IMG_3830a
When I got back into the car the clutch pedal went to the floorboard, but did nothing. I got to drive the next 47 miles with no help from my clutch. Up and down hills; fast and slow; stop signs, stop lights and traffic. Yes, I’m that good.

I hit Taos in the early afternoon and then hit the internet. I found a shop who said they couldn’t crack my hood until the 30th. I then left a message at a Subaru specialty shop and sat. In not too long Colin called me back and I told him some of my story, traveling from coast to coast, and broke down in Taos. He said he would fit me in, having sympathy for traveling souls, but not until the morning. He was just closing up and heading out to a Peter Frampton concert in Albuquerque. So, I dropped off the car this morning and now I wait.

Driveabout#25

This poem started in Washington. However, by the time I realized it was forming I was in Idaho and so I never took pictures of the original inspiration. I finally got some acceptable ones in Utah. Enjoy:

Title: Derelicts
Derelicts everywhere.
More maintenance?
Early intervention?
By the time they’re falling down, it’s too late.
Pride?
Utility?
Missing?
Other things missing.
Big gaps.
Are they really obsolete?
No use?
Not salvageable?
Not worth it.

 

Driveabout#24

I’ve decided to move on. So, today, whether I need it or not, I took a shower and washed my clothes. Then I’ll be heading South.

But, let me tell you what I did yesterday. Knowing it was my last day in the park I went to where I could get a good long hike. The sun was out, the temperature was pleasant. As I set out I took off my t-shirt and stuffed it on the back of my fanny pack. This is the pack that carries my camera gear, a water bottle and a few other odds and ends. Anyway, I figured this may be the last opportunity to ingest some natural Vitamin D, so I went for it. A mile or two downstream from the parking lot I passed what I figured was the last of the fishermen in this area.

And then I stripped. Well, not completely, I left my boots on. When I went to strap my shorts to the fanny pack I quickly found that I no longer had a t-shirt. Somewhere in my trail blazing it must have gotten snagged. Showing that I still had some sense in my head I emptied my pockets and all the contents got zippered up in the pack. Imagine losing that stuff. I did put a little extra care in fastening my shorts. I was cool thinking I would go back to the parking lot without a shirt, but without shorts too? I also quickly appreciated having spent the extra dollars for that extra padding on the pack.

Why did I do this? It certainly was not for sex as there was nobody around to have sex with. It was about freedom. I bet you’ve thought about this. Heck, I’ve even had dreams of walking around naked. Now I could.

It was an interesting experience. The sun was going strong and felt different. The wind was blowing lightly and felt different. No clothes rubbing you felt different. A slight bit of paranoia about being seen kept me present and alert.

I ended up needing to do some bushwacking. It took on a whole new meaning.
And, of course, the bare jokes.

Eventually I tired and turned around. When I spied my first fisherman I figured it was time to suit up. And the weather decided to change, like right now. So, with me in shorts only, the temperature falling at least 15 degrees and a light drizzle I started hoofing it the last 2 miles. I also imagined the article about the latest dumb tourist found out in the woods. The feared downpour held off until roughly 10 minutes after I hit the parking lot. I survived. Not only that but as I was crossing the parking lot I picked up 2 flies and a Leatherman Micra, which was quite rusty. Today, while my clothes were in the drier, I went across the street to a fishing shop and traded those 2 flies for the use of a brass brush and some WD40. The little knife cleaned up quite well. I only cut myself once.