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14/Summer10: The Guest House

Monday, June 28, 2010



I'm heading back to my spiritual home, the Satchidananda Ashram, in central Virginia, this morning. I have been invited to stay in the house of a friend there...for as long as I wish.

Another important teacher of mine is Jelaluddin Rumi, a 12th century mystic, a philosopher-teacher-poet, of the Sufi persuasion. After his teacher was taken from him, he began to *go in circles,* within and without, and the "whirling dervishes" grew out of this practice and release. Here is one of my favorite pieces of his, which fairly states how I feel today:

The Guest House


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.



Blessed be!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NETTIEDEE 6/29/2010 2:38AM

    :-)

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STLRZGRRL 6/28/2010 9:25PM

    There's that circular thing happening again!!

Your MOST EXCELLENT gift came today, Maha... I can never thank you enough... for being you... for showing up... for always telling the flat truth and for laughing with me... or at me... either way!

MWAH!
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PENNYAN45 6/28/2010 9:16PM

    Treating feelings like guests who have come to visit temporarily is an interesting way to deal with them - especially the unwanted ones.

I will try welcoming and entertaining all my guests
... and meeting them at the door laughing and inviting them in.

All the while, I am the hostess -- separate and apart from those guests -- and I am the one lives here permanently.

Thank you for passing along the words of wisdom.

I am happy you will be where you most want to be for the remainder of the summer.

I hope you return to school afterward feeling refreshed, renewed, and energized.

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EGR2BEME 6/28/2010 7:32PM

    A beautiful, thoughtful expression. Thank you!!

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DDOORN 6/28/2010 7:20PM

    What wonderful spirit you bring as a gracious guest! You both will be so enriched, I'm sure...!

Don

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GBOOMER 6/28/2010 6:59PM

    It will be nice to have you in the same state (Virginia)!

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WALKINGANNIE 6/28/2010 4:48PM

    Lovely Maha.

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BUNNYCATS 6/28/2010 3:13PM

    I love this. Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Namaste
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KALIGIRL 6/28/2010 2:01PM

    Thanks to you our 'guide' from beyond!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 6/28/2010 1:25PM

    The Guest House is one of my favorites too, Mahalakshmi.

What a gift of an invitation to be called back to the ashram for as long as you like! It is a beautiful and peaceful place, resonating with the teachings.

You are much loved, dear friend.
xox Usha.

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DARKTHOR 6/28/2010 11:56AM

    This is lovely. Have a wonderful time at the guest house and remain open to all the possibilities you are presented.

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LYNNANN43 6/28/2010 10:46AM

    May you find fulfillment on your journey.

Namaste
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FLORIDASUN 6/28/2010 9:59AM

    Love this Maha...love you too! Be safe, be blessed, you ARE LOVED! emoticon emoticon

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FRANCESCANAZ 6/28/2010 9:26AM

    Te amo!

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SLASALLE 6/28/2010 9:14AM

    What a piece of wisdom to start my day!!! As always, thank you for sharing.

Safe travels, my dear friend. xoxoxo

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MISS_VIV 6/28/2010 8:39AM

    Enjoy your stay with your friends at the Ashram, I know how much you enjoy being/belonging there. It is indeed a journey, and not one that you would want to end. Take care, sweetness and stay well.

Blessed be

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COSMIC_ENERGY 6/28/2010 8:37AM

    "Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond. "

Perfect advice. And wherever we go--there we are--in the perfect place in our journey for our learning in the here and now.

Glad you will be at a place that so nourishes you.

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13/Summer10: Sunday Brunch-in-the-Woods!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I decided to wait for a really healthy first meal today, brunch! So I brewed up some brown basmati rice, with its nutty and fabulous fragrance nicely waking up my taste buds. I did this outside Hari Kurmavatara on a double burner hotplate I purchased for use in case I ran out of propane fuel in the middle of meal prep. Although I'm not out of propane, I decided that the heat of one hour of rice cooking in the camper and one hour of propane use was enough to prompt me to wrest the as yet unused hotplate from its box.


I simply steamed the brown rice. I also used the remaining kale, mixing up a sauce with a tablespoon of peanut butter diluted with balsamic vinegar, which I stirred into the kale.


When the rice was cooked, I scooped out 1/2 cup of it to add to the kale mix.


This very nutritious dish with all organic ingredients was satisfying and quite delicious, a nice meal to begin the day with!

I complete this journal with a shot of the trinkets hanging on my rearview mirror and placed on the indented dash area:


emoticonThe strands of wooden balls are from San Agustin, Colombia, made by a women's collective, and carrying many precious memories.

emoticonThe long chain holds an "OM" ball, with the Sanskrit OM symbol engraved upon it that sweetly rings when moved, from my dear Maui friend Diana.

emoticonTracey gave me PEACE, literally with the piece you see, and figuratively with her many loving and compassionate offerings to me and others in the way she *lives it out.*

On the dash is a sandstone turtle, an origami bird, a miniature silver Ganesh, a Sanskrit transliteration, bracelets, and a Quan Yin. Descriptions follow under the photos:


emoticonHere is the turtle, Kurmavatara (Tracey has its twin, left as a friendship offering)
emoticonand the lovely bird, sent off with me by a Conway friend who made it from the lovely floral paper.


emoticonHere are three strands of semi-precious bead bracelets made for me by my friend Janice.
emoticonInside the strands sits Quan Yin , the feminine goddess figure representing courage and power to live authentically and with greater clarity as the transformative practices take hold.
emoticonThe tiny Ganesh, remover of obstacles, was a gift from my friend Cassandra, a gifted Little Rock yoga teacher.
www.simplyyoga-sy.com/
emoticonBehind it is a card with the transliteration of the Toyota Dolphin's official name, Hari Kurmavatara, penned by my friend Robert, a Sanskrit scholar.

Usha reminded me of two other important items that I travel with:


emoticonMy beloved teacher, Swami Satchidananda, whose spirit and Teachings are always with me. I used to keep it on the dash, but it was getting jostled about too badly. It is definitely part of my traveling altar though.


emoticonAnd this profound philosophical statement, which I gave to Robert on the occasion of our Vow of Commitment (and later reclaimed), that I now always keep close-at-hand: "LIFE'S TOO MYSTERIOUS...DON'T TAKE IT SERIOUS!"

Blessed be!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIGHTSPARK7 6/28/2010 1:33PM

    Thank you for your generous sharing, dearest Mahalakshmi. It did seem to me there was something more ... though paradoxically it also felt complete. What a great blessing from Swami-ji! And I love the message about the mystery and not too serious. So much freedom in that.
Love 'n hugs,
Usha.

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BECOMINGONE 6/28/2010 8:05AM

    Sounds like you are traveling joyfully! May your joy fuel your inward and outward journeys.

Shine,
Sandra

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PEACEFULONE 6/28/2010 12:17AM

    HAPPY TRAILS. Thank you for sharing your precious collection.
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LYNNANN43 6/27/2010 7:30PM

    I absolutely adored the description of the items you travel with that mean so much to you:D

Can't wait for the next travel update!

Namaste
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GREENCAT1 6/27/2010 6:56PM

    What a wonderful journey!

Cathy emoticon

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DDOORN 6/27/2010 6:30PM

    What lovely times you are having...!

Thx for sharing!

Don

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AZIMAT 6/27/2010 6:22PM

    Oh, thanks again for bringing us all along!
Blessings, Azimat
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PENNYAN45 6/27/2010 5:55PM

    Thanks for the photo journal.
I see you carry many people with you on the road -- and lots of love too!

Enjoy your journey!


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COSMIC_ENERGY 6/27/2010 5:42PM

    Love it! Lil pieces of YOU! Where to now?

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GOANNA2 6/27/2010 5:31PM

    What great company to travel with. The food looks fantastic.
Hugs and happoy travels emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 6/27/2010 4:20PM

    Healthy brunch! And thanks for sharing your traveling altar. It is beautiful.

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ABQUEST 6/27/2010 4:16PM

    Hi Maha! I just recently returned to Spark and I'm catching up on your blogs!!! I love your adventures and thank you for including pictures so we can vicariously be there with you!!! Missed you, and the Thanksgiving team!

Risa

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NORLANA 6/27/2010 4:12PM

    So you are not traveling alone after all ((((hugs))))

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CARRAND 6/27/2010 4:02PM

    The brown rice really is better, isn't it? I love your special trinkets. Life is all about keeping the special things and dumping the rest.

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MISS_VIV 6/27/2010 3:33PM

    LOVE IT.

You have given new meaning to a hot plate. I never think to take one with me when we go on our little trips. We have only run out of propane a couple of times (any is too many when you are preparing a meal or trying to keep warm)
It is going to be packed in right away and will be there for use, to spare the propane on our next trip.

Thanks
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12/Summer10: Trek Trail Ride

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Today the Trek and I went on a 10-mi. trail ride. Here are the a few photos and though they don't demonstrate it, this was a very challenging ride...with a great climax:




















Hari Kurmavatara, my Toyota Dolphin's namesake, was RIGHT in the middle of the trail, looking at me intently. Only when I began finally to scratch its back did it scamper away.

Blessed be!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 6/28/2010 10:06AM

    What a beautiful beautiful blog full of mesmerizing pics! Love that turtle such beautiful markings. He was saying "Hey Maha, slow down and see the world at my pace..the view is pretty spectacular!" You are blessed to be such an adventurer...I am truly amazed and delighted to share your travels with you! emoticon

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PEACEFULONE 6/28/2010 12:09AM

    Love your blogs! Your turtle reminds me of one that I rescued years ago from a busy, four lane, suburban street. Took it home and removed a ton of leeches from it (put in a tub of mild bleach water) and then the family and I drove it to a state park and released it. Thanks for the memory.
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COSMIC_ENERGY 6/27/2010 5:40PM

    Cuteness in a shell! I'm loving this!

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WALKINGANNIE 6/27/2010 12:01PM

    Aren't the patterns on the turtle's shell beautiful? Your photos highlight them so well. The trail through the woods looks lovely too. Nature created a great pattern in the leaves shown in the photo before the turtle (just to the right and below the middle of the picture).

Thanks for sharing your day with us and for the kind comments that you have sent to me as well. I haven't read 'Committed' but will look out for it now.

Happy trails!

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SLASALLE 6/27/2010 12:00PM

    Waaaaaaah!!!! Can you hear me whining? I want to go on this trail with you!!!! These are my favorite kinds of trails. BUT (there's always a but, isn't there - or is it that there's always a butt!!!!) - if I couldn't do it with you, I'm delighted that you got to do it.

So great to talk with you AND see more pictures! xoxoxo

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STILLPOINT 6/27/2010 10:30AM

    Whooo Hoooooooooo - what a beautiful trek.

Love and Blessings,
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BECOMINGONE 6/27/2010 9:33AM

   
good to hear from you. Did you see my email? Looking for birthday emails since I lost my hard drive. Any chance you still have the list you put together?

Love,
Sandra

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STLRZGRRL 6/27/2010 9:22AM

    Maha, you are dear to think to give the turtle a scritch for his poor back... although he (she?) didn't seem to think much of it!! lulz...

I was petting our stone kurma in solidarity but that one didn't try to get away!!!
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FRANCESCANAZ 6/27/2010 7:33AM

    You are truly blesed mi amiga!

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DRAGONFLY7149 6/27/2010 3:22AM

    How serendipitous! Am I the only one who notices the turtle in the pattern of the leaves against the sky ??? -- the magic continues to unfold.
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MISS_VIV 6/27/2010 12:00AM

    More great photos. What a terrific trip you are having and to blessed with that namesake turtle coming into your path, you know it had to mean good luck and "stay awhile".

Big hugs


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DDOORN 6/26/2010 10:38PM

    More great pics courtesy of Mother Nature...great to immerse oneself out there! :-)

Don

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LYNNANN43 6/26/2010 9:53PM

    I feel like I just would have sat down & meditated there:D

I just loved the turtle pics!
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EGR2BEME 6/26/2010 9:45PM

    Beautiful spot! The cool, shady path looks so inviting!

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CARRAND 6/26/2010 9:41PM

    Love the turtle pictures!

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EGR2BEME 6/26/2010 9:30PM

    Beautiful spot! The cool, shady path looks so inviting!

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11/Summer10: Dinner (thanks Stlrzgrrl!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm on a roll, so I'll post some photos of tonight's dinner in my house-on-wheels:

I needed to restock my groceries before departing Mooville in the Toyota Dolphin, so on our last night (Wednesday) Tracey took me to the ONLY natural foods store in her necka'da woods, The Healthy Grocer, a wonderful full service mostly organic food store.

Among other things, I bought a beautiful, fresh, HUGE bunch of organic kale for $1.99. I wish I had taken a photo of the lovely bouquet before destemming it, but here it is ready to go, filling my tub more than halfway:


I started by sauteeing it in a bit of olive oil with a little salt in my BIG skillet:


Such a beautiful green as it reduces!


I separated out half for another meal tomorrow. I hope Tracey doesn't mind that I took the leftover veggie korma and a bit of biryani (she wasn't there to query) from our Indian meal out at Masala Bistro, also the evening before my departure. I added this to the kale.


All dished up, on the picnic table, ready to *chow down.*


I think I did a purdy good job of cleaning the plate, shown inside empty skillet.


Wish you had been here to share it with me Tracey!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COSMIC_ENERGY 6/27/2010 5:39PM

    YUM-O!

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CARRAND 6/26/2010 8:45PM

    That looked really good!

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GOANNA2 6/26/2010 4:10PM

    What a beautiful green!
You are living the life my dear.
Food looks absolutely delish.
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FRANCESCANAZ 6/26/2010 2:35PM

    LOVE the empty skillet! emoticon You are so funny!

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STLRZGRRL 6/26/2010 10:37AM

    Maha! Why didn't you take ALL the biryani, too? It is MUCH easier for me to get more here than it is for YOU to get more in the woods!!

Yes, yes, the kale looks wonderful... you are right...

I have determined that it is TOO HOT to pick anything in the field markets here today... but the Farm Show farmer's market is Tuesday (and Friday... NOT Saturday so you didn't actually miss it after all...) and I will endeavor to get over there at lunchtime (since it is not a proper Farmer's Market and doesn't open until 9 AM!!) and see what they've got in... and if there is kale...

I will... uh... think very hard about getting some...

What?

I WILL!!

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BECOMINGONE 6/26/2010 8:28AM

    So glad you are experiencing the divine in your journeys. My journey is a continuing learning experience -- a battlefield between my insecurities and inner consciousness for my self.

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MAZZYR 6/26/2010 7:23AM

    Yum, looks good.

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SLASALLE 6/26/2010 12:38AM

    But if I was there with you, I could have eaten the other half of this gorgeous meal!!! LOL

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DARKTHOR 6/26/2010 12:09AM

    Mmmmm, looks delicious!

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MISS_VIV 6/25/2010 11:57PM

    YUMMO. . . . . a veritable feast.
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ONEKIDSMOM 6/25/2010 10:47PM

    Looks yummy! Tomorrow morning here: spinach and mushroom omelet! emoticon The kale made me think I have some lovely fresh spinach to use.

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LYNNANN43 6/25/2010 10:40PM

    YUMMMMM!

Camp Hill! Home of PA's Blue Cross/Blue Shield:-)

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PUDLECRAZY 6/25/2010 10:20PM

    I wish I was there to share, too. That looks delicious! emoticon

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10/Summer10: Beautiful Parks, Park 2

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'll start with Cedarville State Forest here in Maryland, 'cause that's where I am NOW. But I have also have photos to journal of Kiptopeke on VA's Eastern Shore, Cape Henlopen on Delaware Bay and Codorus in beautiful southern PA.


I pulled in to Cedarville yesterday and was greeted by these hieroglyphics to help me find my way. I was also greeting by Marie, the camp hostess. We had some pleasant conversations and she gave me the idea for the ride to Cedarville Pond!


Today my home on wheels and the campsite fairly shone.


I love looking skyward in the woods.
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I ended up clocking a mere 14 miles today on the Trek...but they were mostly VERY hilly with loose gravel on a VERY uneven roadway. Here is the photo journal of my ride to Cedarville Pond --


and

Can you get a sense of the road?
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Sights along the way:

Moss


Fern


and

Quiet streams


...the story of our lives....


About half way there


The CCC guys built and used this back-when


and

and

Cedarville Pond

Blessed be!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 6/28/2010 10:13AM

    Ahhhhh I'm immersed in green power after reading your blog and enjoying your pics...what a faboulous faboulous way to enjoy our world...and thank you dear one for sharing your adventures with us! WE LOVE them! emoticonand of course we LOVE you for taking us along! emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 6/26/2010 1:04PM

    You are such an intrepid traveler, Mahalakshmi!
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KATL940 6/26/2010 1:12AM

    I enjoyed this, thank you

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DARKTHOR 6/26/2010 12:08AM

    I feel more relaxed just looking on your journey, thanks for letting me tag along.

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PENNYAN45 6/25/2010 11:56PM

    Thank you for the photos - the poem - and more photos in your two blogs. I hope you felt drawn in by the woods and the fields - and the peaceful countryside - with all of its regenerative energy.

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EOSTAR_45 6/25/2010 11:46PM

    Blessed be Maha. Thanks for sharing your photos. Great scenery. And I agree, almost seems like one crossroad or another:-)

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DENI_ZEN 6/25/2010 9:43PM

    You've lifted my spirit and drenched it in natural beauty today - thank you!! I can literally drink in that beauty and tranquility you've captured - ahhh! - Sandi emoticon

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CARRAND 6/25/2010 9:42PM

    Your pictures are lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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LILPAT3 6/25/2010 9:31PM

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 6/25/2010 9:26PM

    Right on all counts Vivian! And, yes, there was a wonderful freshness to the air as I coursed up and down the road!

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MISS_VIV 6/25/2010 9:20PM

    I trust the 14 miles were on your Trek, and the roads photographed were also on your bike and not in the Dolphin. Oh, Maha, I can feel the air and smell the forest from here. I love it so. Thank you so much for sharing.

Blessed be.

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VALERIEMAHA 6/25/2010 9:19PM

    This odyssey was on my trusty Trek, Chris.
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I've edited the text so that it is hopefully more apparent now!

Comment edited on: 6/25/2010 9:27:37 PM

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PUDLECRAZY 6/25/2010 9:14PM

    Lovely! I was waiting for the daytime photos; it looks like it was an adventure getting your camper through.

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