Sunday, January 26, 2014

Home on the Range

Hogan behind Hubble Trading Post
One thing about being a cyclist, and a long-distant cyclist like a Randonneur, is that often you find yourself melding into the landscape rather than fighting it.  So many hours and miles in the saddle, you just have to give in - and let the miles come to you.  For me, I start to get a sense of the lay-out of the land.  I know, it sound kind of blah - but driving by things in a car, you don't seem to understand the why; why is a road here?  Why is this field farmed this way?  Who lives here?  Riding, you start to understand - your perspective changes and you sometimes get a glimpse of how people adapted to the surroundings.

I don't know why, by Hubble Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona is one of most favorite places in the world.  There is something about the spot, something that brought people here, even before John Lorenzo Hubble in the 1870's.

This time I was here, and for the first time, I noticed what seemed out of no-where - this Hogan in the back of the Store.  This is white man's version of a Navajo Hogan - and it is awesome!  You can tell that the occupants had money too.  I'm not sure the whole story, but probably was a family member of the Hubble family.  Anyway, I must tell you, Gentle Readers of This Blog, that I could be quite comfortable living in a cozy place like that!

Inside TS - 39

I stopped in and got some postcards and candy bars - the big draw for me is the feel of the place on the inside!  Still a store where you can buy what you need.  Pretty much, if you haven't figured this out already, that a Trading Post is convenience store from 100 years ago.  A lot of Trading Posts out here morphed into gas stations.  So when you pull into your favorite gas station in your neighborhood, you could think of it as your Trading Post.  Now you just swipe your debit card at the pump, you don't go inside the store and interact with people, or see the cheap shit you don't need anyway.

Hubble still sells some of that same shit, but mostly its stuff that you would need - like often what I need - to live in this country.  No photography is allowed inside, so no photos for you...  I'm glad there are no gas pumps here at Hubble Trading Post - no oil stains, no trash, no morons pouring out their cold coffee on the ground at the pump as they're leaving, etc.  It's really is worth stopping by.

The Indians there helped me out with my drive back down to Tucson; we discussed the best routes, The College, the Clans Little Egypt comes from, and how to pull a trailer out of the mud or snow if I were to get stuck on the way back.

We are in the final stages of selling our place in Dog Mtn.  Little Egypt and I have mulled over selling or keeping it - I spent the summer fixing up things and making it look shinny and new.  It was still in the same condition when I left it back in October.  A modest home in an area where, as I said in my last post, that is being built up (like wild fire) to meet the tastes of the people that got rich off the Wars and the Spoils of the economic downturn.

My next-door neighbor and good friend in Dog Mtn loaned me a small trailer.  For the long weekend, I went down and I'd bring back a couch, some furniture - and in the meantime, bring some hay and dog food up to Aunt Mae - Little Egypt's aunt that still lives up on the Rez near Wide Ruins.  Since I'd be going past her place on the way back from Dog Mtn up to Tsaile, I would surprise her with some supplies!

All I can say is that when it came time to load the hay, the big bales where bigger than I figured - I could only get two of the big 100 pound bales on the trailer and not the four that I wanted.  The young cowboys at the feed store tried to get them on but I didn't think it would be safe driving through the mountains - and I certainly didn't want to get stuck out on top of the mesa where Aunt Mae lives - so two bales would have to do.

What I bought in supplies was not that much in terms of money for me- things cost tons more on the Rez, and a lot of Navajo friends at The College say sometimes the hay is not that great.  The hay I bought was very good - and much less expensive if I were to buy up there.  

So Aunt Mae was happy to see me.  We talked for awhile - but I needed to get on the road.  What I bought just for her sheep and dogs would have cost her entire Social Security Check - so it was good that when the end of the month comes around, she has a little more this time.

Our Lady of Randonneuring
Years ago when Steve, Star of the Blog and I would train for Brevets, we'd ride up to Mammoth, AZ to the Circle K Store (Trading Post) which was the turn-around for our ride - but if you go up a bit further,  you came to this Shrine built by the Miners to keep them safe.  

So I stopped in to say hello to the Old Girl and ask that I get home with dog food, hay, and furniture with no problems.   Steve and I liked to think of her as Our Lady of Randonneuring because going home, we had to climb up and over a mountain.  Any help you can get you take, right? 

I brought back some patio furniture that my neighbor kept in his garage for us.  It's perfect for TS -39.  Little Egypt was also very happy I got this stuff as it was very expensive - but she bought it on sale and got a good price.  So even though I didn't want to at first, I hauled it back up here to The College.  Now I'm glad I did because it works well.

Got me a very comfortable couch.  So, Gentle Reader of This Blog - if by chance you find yourself up this way, I have a couch for you to crash on...

Bring you bike!

Cheers!  Bruce

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