Tumbling Tumbleweed

“Travel is not reward for working it’s education for living .” Anthony Bourdain

I have no idea of why the ghost town of Cisco, outside of Moab , brought back thoughts of Anthony Bourdain. There is no incredible restaurant here. Just a little store called Buzzards Belly that sells microwaved chicken sandwiches and beverages. Maybe it’s because of Anne , one of the owners, behind the counter. Only a woman with imagination and spunk would open a store in a ghost town off the beaten path. And yet if you build it they will come and they do. It’s quirky enough to be talked about in conversations and word seems to be getting out.


She sells tshirts, old collectibles like typewriters, pots and pans, hiking boots,old fashioned dresses with character and lots of Thelma and Louise paraphernalia. Remember the scene in the movie when Thelma and Louise shot up the tanker truck driven by the sleepy truck driver? That scene was filmed in the parking lot of Buzzards Belly.

I’m sure if Anthony Bourdain showed up in Cisco he would be sitting down at someone’s table having something unusual cooked up for him. It would be a small table. From buildings still standing and livable, my guess is that maybe 20 people live in Cisco today.

In the 1800’s it was a busy stop for the steam engine railroads-the Colorado River supplied the water for the steam engines. Today it’s part ghost town and part artist colony-just remember art is in the eye of the beholder .

I think the starkness and loneliness of the landscape has drastically affected my mood.

I miss Anthony Bourdain. I miss watching and listening to stories of wherever he happened to be.I miss watching the attention he would give to someone’s grandma who was cooking the evening meal for him , the look of admiration on his face and the intense interest he demonstrated while watching her cook no matter how simple the meal was. And watching his appreciation as he ate the food , each morsel garnering comments of ohh this is so good or this is incredible and he seemed so genuine and so able to relate to everyone around the table. His comments and appreciation made me want to run to the kitchen and cook what he was eating.

I have an endless list of restaurants and foods to try in the United States from watching his tv shows. I have an international bucket list a mile long of places I want to visit and food I want to eat when I get there because of him.

I wish I could have gotten drunk with him and had long discussions about what’s right in the world and what’s wrong. Or just gotten drunk with him , danced in the streets with him or tried all that greasy fried food he craved when drunk . I’m certain I’ve romanticized him in my mind I know he wasn’t an angel and he knew he wasn’t an angel but he tried so hard to do what was right and honor people and their food and their culture. I miss him.

I never would have thought he would take his own life. He always seemed to have it all together. I makes me so sad to think how sad he must have been to leave the world he so enjoyed and the people he loved. Sometimes when I find something so incredibly delicious I think about him and think about how he would describe it to his viewers. I think about him sitting at the same table and what he would say to me. Yes I miss Anthony Bourdain, he was one of a kind, never to be replaced, held in my heart and memory.

While he was all about the food he was also all about travel. I feel some degree of sorrow for people who don’t enjoy travel. I feel grateful that I am able to travel. Travel exposes you to so many different aspects of the world and all it’s cultures.

Since we’ve started traveling again , I’ve discovered that we aren’t running into international visitors like we did pre Covid. I miss those random meetings and conversations. Sharing things with them that they shouldn’t miss, sometimes our most secret spots. And other times sharing with them directions to a bakery that had the best morning buns or a little dive bar that had the most delicious juicy burger with crispy shoestring fries.

Campers post Covid are a mixed bag. There is the group that respects nature. They leave a place better than they found it. They are considerate of their fellow travelers. Thank goodness they are the majority. The challenge we face as travelers and camp hosts is the minority. The campers who don’t believe in reading or following rules or guidelines. If a road sign states no vehicles over 22 feet, they seem to believe that applies to everyone but them. Most of the minority don’t have much camping experience . You would think that if you didn’t have the experience you would be interested in what the guidelines are. But they don’t care about generator hours, quiet time, restrictions for how many vehicles allowed in the campsite, and the list goes on. I bite my tongue and try to patiently explain things to these folks-it’s definitely a challenge.

This post has been a rambling one, I know that. Since we have been in Moab I have felt like a tumbling tumbleweed. No direction, no focus, just rolling along. I’ve been struggling with writing and photography. It saddens me to see and interact with the minority who think that because they reside in the “land of the free “ they can do whatever they want and not face consequences.

Sigh…I’ve been working very hard to concentrate on the good people I encounter. I try to celebrate them , to make sure they know how grateful and happy I am to interact with them. These are the people who strengthen my spirit-thank goodness for them.

Thank you for listening. I’m off for a little hike to clear my mind, shake off this lost feeling while trying to enjoy it for what it’s worth. I leave you with a little bright spot from the desert.

Happy trails my friends, may we all be good stewards of the earth and each other. Safe travels.

“Pay attention , be astonished , tell about it .” Mary Oliver