New Mexico | Santa Fe and Taos | The Rio Grande

Dancing at the square in Santa Fe

Roark playing the harp.  His Home Page.

The Harp House, Roark’s  House

The Harp House again, Santa Fe, NM

And again

People with awareness; I left them a brochure about: AE 9/11 Truth. Everybody is getting to know.

Song and Dance

Kimm Hollis and The Eye of the Dragon

On the road to Taos: The Rio Grande  The river will reach the ocean and disappear.

Stuck amid rocks

Taos, New Mexico

Cat Hale in Taos (At John Dunn House shops, close to the square)

Rachel: Flamenco Dancer

Rachel, Emma and Robert (Flamenco/Jazz Guitarist)

Emma is also a dancer

Second Mesa | Hopi Nation | Traditions | Chocolat

The Road to second Mesa

It took me a while to find my friend’s house, and he wasn’t there. But I found his family. His wife remembered me after so many years, and we talked for a while. I could tell that I had interrupted her preparations (an important celebration was due the following week; the Kachinas were going to be send back to the mountains) so I told her not to mind me if she needed to go back to work.

Her son stayed chatting with me; he was sculpting a Kachina doll. Nobody was sure when my friend would return so I wondered what to do, and where to stay if I stayed overnight. He suggested to stay overnight at the campground, next to the cultural center, so I would be able to see his father in the morning, before 8 am. He should be home then. I decided to stay. I left them a copy of my book and went sightseeing:

The Campground, next to the Cultural Center

Again: The Road to Second Mesa

A View from the Mesa

When I was on my way to Second Mesa a prairie dog was standing on the road resembling a scrubby tuft of grass. He didn’t move until it was too late for me to realize what the tuft of grass was, and he died under my right wheels. When I was crossing the road to take some of these pictures, I almost made the same mistake the prairie dog had made. I saw the car just in time to stop on my tracks, and I thought that the only difference between that prairie dog and me was that it wasn’t my turn yet. When my turn comes, I will join him. Life is just a process; there is no birth and death.

Next morning before 8 am, I went to find my friend. Apparently he was in another house, his son-in-law told me.  He guided me there and left me to my own devices. As I approached the house, one of my friend’s daughters came out to do something. She didn’t answer my greeting, so I asked for my friend. She was plain rude then; she told me cuttingly that he was still in Flagstaff, and they didn’t have time for visitors. I excused myself. As I was leaving, I asked her to tell him that I had said hello. “I will tell him,” she said dryly.

The movie Chocolat came to mind, with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. It is a movie about how traditions can dehumanize us and kill our spirit: A town plagued by domestic violence, neglect and just plain boredom is transformed by a magical woman.

“At the center of CHOCOLAT is a woman charged with special powers: Vianne Rocher, a mysterious outsider who arrives in the French village of Lansquenet to open a chocolaterie featuring luscious candies that can, in addition to tantalizing the tongue, cure lost hopes and awaken unexpected emotions.” This is a movie I can recommend. 

Chocolat : Movie Review 

I went back to take a picture of this quaint little store

But I found this young employee outside (he allowed me the picture), unable to get in because the owners neglected to inform him that they would be visiting a neighboring village for their traditional dances, and would open late. And I don’t mean to say that we should neglect our traditions, but maybe we all need to get a direct, stronger connection with Spirit, and forget about most of the pomp and bell-ringing. We might get to be more considerate with our fellow human beings then. What do you think?

The Unexpected | Car Trouble | Are there Honest Mechanics? | Absolute Transmission, Flagstaff, AZ

It was to be my first day on the road again, heading to Second Mesa from Sedona. After leaving my campsite along 89A (Forest Road 535-mile 391), I decided to stop briefly in Flagstaff, at the library, to check my email etcetera. I had noticed a slight difficulty getting into 5th gear but didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about. I entered the parking lot, going against traffic by mistake. And my chevy cavalier refused to go in reverse. Luckily the two cars that were coming in the right direction were able to get in reverse, and I was able to follow them and get out.

By chance, I found a hostel (hostels know everything) and I was shown in a map where I could find Randy Chavez, a good mechanic who might be able to help me. I was really grateful because it is uncomfortable to drive around without reverse; it requires parking with strategy. It turned out that Randy didn’t work in transmissions but he knew somebody who might be able to help me. He directed me to Julie the manager of:

Julie Krall, service manager of Trans-mission man at 2109 E. 6th Ave. Flagstaff, AZ 928-774-2220

I explained my problem, and that I was on the road promoting my book with limited funds. She was quite concerned, but she was also up to her neck with work, so she couldn’t take my car. Nevertheless, she collected my information and started calling everybody she knew who might be able to help me. After taking the trouble of discussing my car’s condition with a couple of her colleagues, one of them decided to check my car to see how road worthy it was, for he would not be able to take it that day either. And that’s how I met Quentin:

Quentin Hicks, owner of Absolute / Transmissions and Auto repair . . . and absolute honesty! at 3747 Eagle Mountain Dr. Flagstaff AZ 928-552-6966

Now, Quentin got in the car, fiddle with the gear box for a little while and . . . put it in reverse! Then, we drove around a couple of blocks and he said: “It is not the transmission.” He added that the gear box, and maybe some cables, needed lubrication, and that’s why it had been stubborn. He said that I could keep driving it, although he advised me to get a new clutch soon because he didn’t like a particular sound that he was hearing.  

I figured that he was dead right because that clutch was exactly 100,000 miles old. But he said that I could keep going, or go back home and fix it later. They both wanted me to go back home (Julie mentioned it also when I went back to inform her) to get me out of harm’s way. I was considering  the idea myself, for I didn’t think that traversing the country with an old clutch, which was beginning to perish, was an intelligent thing to do. So I thanked Quentin for his help and went back to the library. 

But the idea of going back and leaving the trip unfinished was making me feel uncomfortable. Besides, that clutch had to be fixed soon anyway, so why not do it with an honest mechanic. How many mechanics do you know who’ll tell you: “You don’t have to do the work right now, go home.” I used to have a good mechanic in San Diego in a Midas shop, but he quit the position, and the last time I went there, the guy I talked to spewed out so many lies (to get me to fix things that I knew I didn’t need to fix) that I almost puked. So I decided to fix it, using most of my savings (clutches are expensive nowadays), and keep going. That’s what my savings were for anyway.

Quentin worked with me to get the job done in a day (I explained that I was camping in the forest), and soon I was on my way again to visit the Hopi Nation. I was really pleased about the way the car was cruising when, close to Winslow, my steering system started to make a disturbing grinding noise. I stopped at a mechanic in Winslow who wasn’t too concerned about the steering noise (the fluid was okay) but due to a stalling when I tried to start the car he advised me to change the starter soon; and he was quite busy at the moment. I figured the remaining of my savings would be soon gone.

Since I trusted Quentin I decided to go back the 50 miles to Flagstaff. Quentin got in the car and under the hood to check both: my steering and my starter. In about 15 minutes he said: “You are good to go.” The starter was okay he said, nothing wrong with it. The grinding noise, he said, was something these cars experience sometimes (he had two of them) but the steering system was okay, no problem.

That was about a week ago. I am in Santa Fe at the moment. No problem! and still have some savings. Hey, if you are ever close to Flagstaff, and in need of a mechanic, you know where to go.

The Road to Sedona, AZ | Camp | A City of Ants | Coyotes

The road to Sedona

Red Rock State Park

From Posse Park, Sedona

A view from a hilltop at one of my camps.

The coyotes visit at night. They yelp and carry on, then their leader talks to them keeping a rhythm, a definite cadence that changes at times. And they leave.

Rock Compasss on hilltop, there is a red rock at each of the cardinal points. I don’t know who crafted it.

A City of Ants at the hilltop: The Entrance

Did you know? Some species of ants herd and keep aphids for their “milky secretions” just like humans do with cows, and some species farm mushrooms.

A closer look

More of Sedona

And Red Rock Park

After Sedona

Toward Flagstaff

The Gorge

 From the road

Again 

An Interesting View | Miller Valley Indoor Art Market | Prescott, AZ

In Prescott, AZ  (531 Madison Avenue)

Donna Meraz with The Eye of the Dragon

An interesting store

And I received an interesting view on presentness by one of the vendors: He mentioned the 4th of July, and I told him that I called it: the farce of july. Then, to answer his puzzled look, I explained that our independence was gone, and a banking cartel called the Federal Reserve owned the country. And I told him about 9/11 (AE 9/11 Truth).

He said that he lived in the present moment, so he didn’t care.

But, living in the present does not mean that we shirk our responsibilities. It means we plan for the future although we don’t live in it, we don’t worry about it. We plan for the future while ready to die today, while being present today. I wonder what would have happened to India had Mahatma Gandhi said: “I live in the present, I don’t care for the future of India.” Just a thought.

Mahatma Gandhi


The Forest Moon | Reincarnation | Enlightenment

The Forest Moon in Thumb Butte, AZ (Click to enlarge)

I was recently talking to a friend over dinner and the subject of reincarnation came up. I said there is no reincarnation.

I know, some Buddhists (including the Dalai Lama) believe there is reincarnation. But if the Buddha explained that there is no “self,” who is reincarnating? Hindus believe in reincarnation. And Paramahansa Yogananda, a very respected spiritual master, stressed reincarnation, with proof. But Hindus do stress that only the “Self” exist; everything else is an illusion, a projection–including time and space. So, it would be an “illusion,” reincarnating into a bigger “illusion.” Right? It gets complicated, doesn’t it? I suggest that what we need to do is forget other lives until we master this life, our present challenge. Once we do that everything will be revealed to us, and there will be no more doubts or beliefs. We will know and be free.

This reminds me of an interesting question: Are you enlightened? “I” can’t be enlightened because “I” is the problem. In fact, everybody is enlightened but that “I” pulls the wool over our eyes and doesn’t let us know. If  “I” am looking  for enlightenment, “I” am missing the point and making enlightenment one more item on my “I want list.” All we need to do is drop that “I” with its incessant jabber and selfish wants, and . . . wake up!

The moon is a symbol of enlightenment in Zen Buddhism.

Prescott Az | Arts and Crafts Fair | Thumb Butte

My camp at Thumb Butte

Sunrise in the forest.

Shower room

This tree brought an owl to camp.

At the Arts and Crafts Fair

Courthouse Plaza

Setting up

Mark Nelson with his copy of The Eye of the Dragon: Stalking Castaneda. Mark bought the book at the fair, and came back a week later to get three more copies for his friends. He said he liked it a lot. Mark played one of the characters in the film Beyond Lemuria Home

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