Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Celestial Directive Is Growing Louder–and Much Much Clearer

©Bert Gildart: Wow, does time every fly–particularly as the saying goes, when you’re having fun. In fact a get-together with friends has become so intense that right now we’re hearing a celestial voice, and it seems to be providing a directive. But more on that in a minute; right now I want to describe the growth of our relationship with Tucson friends, and mention one more wonderful experience at Organ Pipe National Monument regarding quail.

For the past three days we’ve been in Tucson, Arizona, visiting friends and catching up on business using the amenities provided by Cactus Country RV Resort. After the wide open spaces and incredible desert beauty offered at Organ Pipe National Monument, we’re finding Tucson with its burgeoning population to be overwhelming. Still, it’s wonderful to see friends whom we see all too little of. For one thing, they’re interesting people.

Among the list are Rich, Eleanor and Emma Luhr. Rich is the editor/publisher of Airstream Life and I’ve mentioned the family before. Certainly Rich and Eleanor are a talented couple, but it is their very feminine and attractive daughter who now deserves a bit of the limelight.

Emma is enrolled in a karate program and though the emphasis is on martial arts, much about the etiquette of the sport is also built into the program. Though only nine, she’s done extraordinarily well and may soon be advancing in her age group to the Black Belt division of the sport.  We expect she’ll continue to do well.

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Gambel's quail in early morning light

Also included in our group of friends are Adam and Sue who are camped right across from us. Sue was once a corporate lawyer while Adam worked in Hollywood as a musician with some very big name performers, to include Henry Mancini. Adam was also the music coordinator for the comedy production of Tom and Jerry.

ROAD OF THE DEVIL

Initially, our friendship with this group was founded on our mutual interest in Airstream trailers and motorhomes. But those interests can only go so far, and then there must be other things, and in our case, that is certainly true. Common to us all is our passion for the outdoors–and currently we are planning some adventures for this coming fall.

For instance, we have all concluded that we are now hearing the voice of  the Great Spirit commanding us to cycle or hike the Camino Del Diablo. If we can pull this off it will require some preparation, as a translation of the name of this 70-mile long route through the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge might suggest. Translated, the expression means “Road of the Devil”, suggesting that many have died, that water may be scarce and the terrain is rough. But what makes the voice we’re hearing now ring so loudly is the fact when I checked into the Visitor Center at the refuge, a uniformed lady asked: “Where are you from?” Then, “I know you; I was one of your students in high school English.”

Thirty years later it turns out Margot is now a visitor specialist and that this attractive but athletic lady has actually hiked the Camino Del Diablo. Later in our conversation she confirmed that Edward Abbey is buried in the refuge… “But no one knows where.”

JUST A LITTLE MORE ON ORGAN PIPE

The morning we left Organ Pipe I arose early and was rewarded with images of Gambel’s Quail. During our week-long stay in this beautiful national monument I’d seen them–and heard them–pecking for food in and around these fallen cactus limbs. However, I had been unable to get close to them–until our last day.

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Another example of the long waiting game, discussed in my last post.

For the images, I used a 600mm lens and here is another example of why you must sometimes turn off the auto focus, which would not have known to select the eye as the point of focus. I love the early morning light and relied on it to provide the color saturation and the catch light in the eyes. No PhotoShop here, and most likely I’ll be sending some of these off to my photo agent. Another candidate is an image from Death Valley, which remains one of my favorite from this trip so far.

Hopefully there will be yet other candidates, but in the meantime, we’ll continue to listen to voices from on high, now growing ever more clear.

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THIS TIME LAST YEAR

*Sands that Sing

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