Last October, when Graeme made it back up to Flagstaff, we decided on a Southern route for the winter. We had remembered hearing about a nice Buddhist Temple, a Vipassana center called Dhamma Siri just over 1000 miles away in Kaufman, Texas, just outside of Dallas. There was a ten day sit starting January 8th, with 2 and a half months till then, we would have to walk an average of just over 13 miles a day to stay on schedule. Our route would take us along the I-40, out of Arizona, through Northern New Mexico, the Texas pan-handle to Amarillo and down HW 287 until reaching the other side of Dallas. By Kaufman, the trip will have clocked in at over 2,000 miles by foot. This post will pick up from the last post around Santa Rosa, New Mexico...
Small boneyard near Goodnight, Texas. These are actually the remains of Bison.
SNACK ATTACK! this first rattle snack here was actually dead and laid out in in the entrance this building we crept into one chilly night. Later on it became obvious that under the floorboards was a large pit of rattlers. Thank yous to the guys Just down the road for letting us spend Christmas Eve in the Chillicothe Volunteer Fire Station.
These two guys got dibs on the on the spot up under a bridge, out of the wind. Again, Graeme and I came within about 2 feet of them before catching their outline in the dim light. When it's so cold they don't bother to rattle, or even move away.
Though the worst of winter hit further north, we were in the middle of nowhere on HW 287 when a 3 day ice storm blew in. These Silo's above are where we took refuge for those few days and mastered our throat singing skill set. The following photos are what the world looked like on that first sunny morning.
The winter had delayed us from the 13 mile average to a point of 20 and 30 mile days for the last couple weeks -- too reminisant of the last Vipassana sit. On the homeward stretch we got a call from an organizer at the center, They needed more servers for the overflowing set of students that would be sitting. So we took the call and picked up another few miles each day to arrive early and help prepare. It was my first time serving a sit, I will write more about the experience when I have a moment, but all in all it was great.
Stephanie and Graeme, Dhamma Siri's most focused bell ringers.
..This is your (unfocused) mind on Vipassana meditation..
This is August Personage. A good chap and accomplished musician we served with at Dhamma Siri. Shortly after the sit he tore off from the Garden of Eden at Arlington on his time machine (below) to travel with us for the next month through Austin. It was only the other day that his adventure split North. Best of times pal, don't forget to kill everything, till our paths cross again!
This is hawk, we met her on the side of the road while she was finishing up a meal. Hawk let us chill with her and we all meditated on the circle of life and how cool it was that she ate a whole foot at once.
He said he'd wear them until they fell off.
In Salado, TX, local artist Mike P. invited us to stay at his studio and art galley SIRRIL. Quite accommodating, raaaally. Graeme's stencil, and then a finger painted self portrait I was working on before passing out to JPop on full blast, repeat. If your ever in Salado check this place out. Thanks again Mike, see you in the future.
Mike P. The man behind Sirril Gallery.
Graeme & Jesus get feral fo real.
Dhamma Stephanie and the Pink Palace made our stay in Austin a bit warmer (literally and figuratively) when they took us in for a few nights -- One of which happened to be the Mardi Gras Unicorn Ball! Thanks Stephanie and all you's at the Palace.. Man, Austin is weird...
Looking forward to the Gulf Coast and the last chapters of the journey...