Sunday, May 30, 2010


Here's a left-over experience from Santa Fe that I want to share. Most of the story is obvious--bicycle camper and his dog. I engaged just briefly because he was stressed about approaching bad weather--told me he had mostly walked from Deming, NM to here (350 miles) in 3 weeks--(about 17 miles per day)--was enroute to Las Vegas, NM--(though his gear tells me he is a full time drifter--takes a while to get this organized)--needed to find a sheltered campsite--I was no help, but I gave him money and wished him well. The encounter touched me more than most and I didn't know why--He has a sustainable lifestyle with comfort equipment. Now that I reflect, it's the cheerful, faithful, trusting dog that moves me. It finds itself hitched to a dubious star. But the bond between the two was strong--each seemed to know how much it needed the other. The dog rides, he said, when it gets tired--and to illustrate he merely pointed to the cart--the dog immediately hopped in. I later told myself to cheer up about their situation--The dog gets fed-- has a companion and is not bored like a yard dog. Together they have a lifestyle and in the cosmic drama play a role as indispensible as Napoleon.
Now back to Tucumcari, NM---loved this sculpture celebrating the highway of song. Of course I intend to have a close look at the wind turbine.
The facts--most notably that it can power 400 homes.
Look at this mural closely--Isn't it marvelous--could hardly see where mural ended and real sky began.
Here was the stunning surprise--this is one of my favorite people--Brenda--who taught me the basics of computering--in a single week--and is ever helpful when I'm stuck. I never know where she is--sometimes when I call, she's in Chicago--Or Portland or South Carolina--she commands a huge diesel powered mega motor home ---whisking her at whim anywhere on the continent. So I called her to get an update on her whereabouts----INCREDIBLY SHE WAS JUST A FEW BLOCKS AWAY. We were both stunned and celebrated a chatty reunion.
--found myself singing to this scene--"Oh give me land, lots of land----Don't fence me in---let me wander over yonder neath the western skies...."
Stopped to walk all around a strange and dying town named Nara Vista-The big feature of which was---a considerable collection of old cars. Hundreds of ugly KEEP OUT signs marred the experience, however, and I had a brief clash with the collector--whose disposition matched the signs. Notice that someone has apparantly reacted to all his negativity by smashing the police car's window. ("What you resist---persist"---Werner Erhard)
While looking at all this--heard a loud repeated clanging sound--went to investigate.
It was this railroad crossing signal gone crazy---clanging and lowering the bar every 30 seconds. Its been reported for a week now--this gentleman explained--no one came to fix it. Getting through required a zippy timing that the locals had mastered.
Now, Ill cross a 70 mile slice of Texas on Hwy 54. I have Dodge City, Kansas in my sights but will take a few days getting there. On my distant horizon is a gathering of WIN friends in the famous Flint Hills.


squire said...

Great stories as always Randy.

Boonie said...

Enjoyed that story about the walking bicyclist and the dog.

What a contrast he makes with the high-tech bicycle tourers I met recently. They are going such long distances and have deadlines and destinations breathing down their necks.

Your fellow is taking his time, which makes more sense.

jeff said...

Hi Randy, I went back a few pages trying to find a picture of your hitch set up, and I cant see if you use load leveling bars or not? What is your hitch set up like if you don't mind sharing that? And how the set up tows.


Randy said...

Jeff: Interesting question and an ongoing project to perfect. No I don't use leveling bars but am considering installing just one to shift about 150 pounds forward. It will require some creative engineering but eventually I'll get it done. The heavy lifting is currently being done with air shocks which do a terrific job. They are assisted by an inexpensive half spring support. Additionally, I removed the battery from a front position to the rear and took additional measures to lighten the hitch weight. So far so good but it's not perfect yet.

Dixxe's Doodles said...

Darn, Wish I had known you were coming that way i was there last week!! I sort of worry for the dog in case he makes a mistake and gets hit by a car...but he is having an adventure few dogs get to have...
I am in Kansas now a town called Wekeeney--headed to St. Louis and then south to Kentucky and eventually home to SC by friday..
I HATE To go back to the Steamy East but life awaits me there for now.
I found no woman under the bridge in Moab...but I did run into this guy who had 2 dogs he brings down to swim in the River every day..he was a hoot!! I dont think he is homeless but maybe living in his car I got a photo of him and his canine family.

Randy said...

I'm sorry too Dixie--I'm 2 weeks or more benind with my blog--I'm in Denver now about to fly away for a week.
Re: The old lady living in a cave in Moab--It was a cave at the Northwest end of the bridge--should have given better directions. Hurry back to the West.