Posted by: Bruce Proctor | July 8, 2008

Last day of photo trip: headed home

After lunch, the park was overwhelmed, and, not knowing what else to do-finding no place to recuperate and feeling unwell-I just got on highway 40 and started west, driving home. The system is well-designed for that: it’s actually far easier to drive the highway than to find a place to rest!

At home before I leave, I never seem to know what I’d enjoy reading on a trip. This time I had about 7 books but would have been perfectly content if I’d had just two: Seth’s “The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events” and “Rainer Maria Rilke” by Patricia Pollock Brodsky. And perhaps an elusive small book of poetry.

The morning after leaving Cottonwood Campground in Dinosaur National Monument, somewhat discouraged at the trip, I moseyed on a paved back road toward Vernal to enjoy the morning, see what I might see.

It was on Mancos shale hills, swales. I assume Mancos: but maybe the far more recent lakebed deposits. With softly-colored weeds growing throughout, I found the land delicate but beautiful and photographed it at length. Then a small mountain of such landscape to the north.

Into town at noon, exhausted. Tried the park, which was jammed with activities: a paint ball wars arena, volleyball, baseball, huge pickups parked, swarming everywhere, huge guys with tattoos, their families, like a NASCAR scene. One family nearby had a big trailer behind their pickup expressly designed for cookouts, with such a professional set-up that I first thought they were food vendors! In this society my Ford Ranger is not regarded as a truck.

The whole scene here seemed like some America utterly foreign and thoroughly uncomfortable, almost hostile to me. I did find solitary shade under a tree. And the people I interacted with were hospitable, although being a lone male did get me some “what’s he doing here?” scrutiny.

I went to JB’s for lunch, not knowing what I’d do beyond that. After lunch, the park was overwhelmed, and, not knowing what else to do-finding no place to recuperate and feeling unwell-I just got on highway 40 and started west, driving home. The system is well-designed for that: it’s actually far easier to drive the highway than to find a place to rest! Does this seem insane to anyone besides me?! Least resistance. After a bit I actually felt a little better. In Roosevelt there was finally a nice little park, where I lay on a pad on the grass in the shade, passed out for what I assume was a good while, woke and listened to a shamanic tape.

The shamanic journey was highlighted by my interaction with the Stone That Travels. Over time, its benevolent presence has evolved to saying a few words to me, and lately, even having warm if clipped verbal interactions. This time I noticed the progression, and the Stone That Travels smiled with great fondness at me and said, “I never had such a wonderful human that I wanted so much to talk to before, so I’ve had to learn.” Its expression of how special I was was so unexpected and warm, that I metaphorically looked back over my shoulder to see who it could be referring to. But it was me!

The shift in consciousness eased my physical pain and allowed real relief.

Being in that park, by Route 40, with traffic roaring by for all it was worth, I realized again how overwhelmingly aggressive our culture is. In our vehicles we hardly notice it. A van at 70 mph, a young woman in the passenger seat, her bare feet propped on the dashboard, painting her toenails. Aggression on the highways is just The Way of it. Horsepower, speed, and ever the pressure to speed up more.

And how the whole lifestyle is set up for people who have boundless energy and places to go. For instance, if I need to stop to rest every hour or two, there are usually no places for me. No parks, rest stops, shade, places to pee, water. It’s endless, relentless plummeting forward, few sidetracks. And you pretty much need predetermined destinations. There are few-and they’re expensive-way stations for the leisurely or uncommitted.

Difficulties this trip usually centered around this dilemma. Needing shade, not finding it or a resting place. Not being able to get a motel room (all booked up in Vernal), or find a decent camping spot. Also, the time of daylight is very long this late in the season, which means shorter sleep periods than I need, more naps where I have to deal with finding sun relief, and 16 hours of sun, often unrelenting. As well as I tried to take care of myself, I often wasn’t able to improvise effectively, especially, of course, if I was already starting to feel sick. How can I address this better next time?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: