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Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/14/2013 17:46:08 MST Print View

"Acts have their being in the witness. Without him who can speak of it? In the end one could even say that the act is nothing, the witness all.”
― Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing

The desert often fills my dreams, leaving me longing for vast expanses where land meets sky, the silence. While I sit here the deserts wait, waiting for me to make them real again.



Adan and I slipped away for some exploring in the Joshua Tree back country. Took the low road in through a wash and canyon, the high road out on ridges and peaks. Don’t let the sunshine fool you; daytime was in the low 40s and high 30s with nighttime temps dropping as low as 17 degrees.

1

More photos here:
Sweeping the Garden

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/14/2013 17:58:40 MST Print View

What a journey. This one grabbed me deep within, Craig. Thanks for letting me be a second level witness.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/14/2013 18:49:38 MST Print View

Thanks Craig. I always miss the desert this time of year.

I can hear Toro Peak calling.

Unfinished business to attend to there.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F
Sprats on 01/16/2013 13:03:05 MST Print View

Riga Gold Sprats! Those are always good :)

Nice trip

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Sprats on 01/16/2013 14:02:24 MST Print View

I can't believe you recognized the sprats Yuri!

My wife is Armenian so my family eats mostly out of Russian/Eastern European and Middle Eastern markets.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Sprats on 01/16/2013 17:15:10 MST Print View

"I can't believe you recognized the sprats Yuri!"

I can't believe I missed them. +100 to Yuri's comment. Have you gotten into the Armenian Konyak yet? It's the best I've ever tasted, by far.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/16/2013 18:21:02 MST Print View

Craig and Adan -
Great photos ... Great trip !

Regarding the title question ... one I've dwelled on often, and changed my mind on at least twice in my life. better discussed after a few more beers.

Edited by asandh on 01/16/2013 18:42:15 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/16/2013 18:45:26 MST Print View

"Regarding the title question ... one I've dwelled on often, and changed my mind on at least twice. better discussed afer a few more beers."

We'll do that Art.

__________________________

Tom, I've had my share of Armenian konyak. My father-in-law is pretty fond of it (and vodka). He swears Armenians make the best konyak in the world.
He also swears Armenians make the best everything in the world. :)

No better character to drink with; born in Syria, he speaks Armenian, English, Turkish, Russian, and Arabic, did a stint in the Soviet army, became a classical composer/music professor in the Soviet system, and eventually ended up in the Untied States doing construction for minimum wage in '78. The stories....

Edited by xnomanx on 01/16/2013 18:46:48 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/16/2013 20:29:08 MST Print View

"I've had my share of Armenian konyak. My father-in-law is pretty fond of it (and vodka). He swears Armenians make the best konyak in the world."

In this case he's right, IMO. Maybe ask him if I can be an honorary Armenian? After a few shots of Konyak, of course. ;0)

"He also swears Armenians make the best everything in the world. :)" Not uncommon for folks from that part of the world. This much I can say: The Armenians are universally regarded as among the best cooks in the Middle East by Arabs from all corners of the Arab world, and that really says a lot given their fractious nature. On a personal note, the first family I stayed with when I went to the Middle East was an Armenian family in Beirut, and their cooking was fabulous.

"No better character to drink with; born in Syria, he speaks Armenian, English, Turkish, Russian, and Arabic, did a stint in the Soviet army, became a classical composer/music professor in the Soviet system, and eventually ended up in the Untied States doing construction for minimum wage in '78. The stories...."

I'll bet. They are an interesting bunch, having survived and thrived for millenia in
a rough part of the world. I had a lot of Armenian students when I taught at the University of Baghdad, and my landlady was Armenian. We used to play backgammon weekly over endless cups of tea. As you said, the stories.....

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/16/2013 20:52:48 MST Print View

"We used to play backgammon weekly over endless cups of tea. As you said, the stories....."

Backgammon!
All of the Armenian/Arabic/Turkish cussing that I know is thanks to playing with my father-in-law. I'm not as convincing at calling you a dog in Arabic as he is though.

My mother-in-law is Armenian but from Beirut; my wife was born in Armenia.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Being in the Witness: Joshua Tree XC, 1/12 - 1/13 on 01/17/2013 18:21:48 MST Print View

"I'm not as convincing at calling you a dog in Arabic as he is though."

I think you have to have been born over there to get just the right amount of intensity without being offensive. I used to content myself with being on the receiving end rather than risk the consequences of offending my opponent. In most cases it wasn't necessary, because I wasn't a very good backgammon(towli) player. Usually they would just chuckle and smirk as they outmaneuvered me.

"My mother-in-law is Armenian but from Beirut; my wife was born in Armenia."

If you can remember it, ask your mother-in-law if she knows the Ekmekji family. They were the ones I stayed with. That would make this a really small world. :)