Wednesday, July 28, 2010


HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RITZY CITIES?---Like Palm Springs, Telluride, Aspen, Park City, Malibu? I have ambivalent feelings--They're pretty---but I always feel like an alien in them---a bit contemptous of its citizens--thinking of them like Dr. Seuss's snooty star-bellied sneeches. I guess I resent clustered wealth---like the N.Y. Hamptons---Tiburon in S.F. Nicole, however, loves this town---having once lived here. She navigates our rig to its very heart---and there we find a camping place---if we dare to use it---and we do--for two days--can you see it?---parked just a block from the chair lift and 4 blocks fron the center of town. Turns out--no one objected. I taped deflector notes on its door that explained our presence. I'll show you several of them in a future blog.
The famous antler arches---all neatly bolted together---one arch on each corner of the square.

Impressive things--that occasionally have to be redone. Do antlers decay?

Statues and art galleries by the dozen. Free for the looking---what's not to love? One high dollar shop named Nature's Art sells fossils. A dinosaur skull was priced at $250,000.

We took the chairlift to the top of the mountain.

Nice view---of the Tetons.

And the city below.----funny story: On a late night walk together, we got separated by a fluke of circumstance and shadows. I got concerned enough to call the cops after 30 minutes . A city wide alert went out for a tall, beautiful lady.---They found her--walking "home" she wasn't lost.

Nicole, without her costco card--testing my theory that ladies get special service---don't need a card. SURE ENOUGH the guy bent the rule and filled us up with cheaper gas. (I stayed out of the way to give the process full effect)
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: It's hypocritical of me to resent clustered wealth---when I live in America---the world's foremost example of clustered wealth---and I certainly support the idea of "gated nations"; protecting the comforts we have created for ourselves from dilution by hordes of illegal immigrants who want to come share the good life. The axial question is this: Which is a better world--one where all our well being is LINKED or UNLINKED. ARE WE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER--OR NOT. And if so--exactly how? Needs more thought!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


AS THE WALTZ ACROSS WYOMING CONTINUES. The Wind River Mountains north of Pinedale---we've decided to go there.
While I'm gasssing up, Nicole wanders into this remote mountain bar for information.

And engages these two guys----one of them turns out to be the ultimate Codger. Which do you think it is?

It's this one----a supermodel for codgerism. And that look on his face--only a beautiful woman can wake up a dusty face with this kind of glow. I arrived just in time to capture it.

They told us how to penetrate the mountains and where a good campsite was. We went there--- And then I got us into this impossible situation---obstacles and holes all around---blocking the road. Nicole with a pleasant smile said: "would you like me to handle this?" I surrendered control---stood back and watched a professional at work. Without hesitation and with a few easy twist of her wrist she BACKED the rig out of trouble, across the road, down a hill and into the campsite. I cheered and photographed the moment.

Modest as she is, she couldn't resist a smile of triumph. Humanity take note---the bullshit barriers of sexism are broken---A womans place is where she wishes to be.

See where she put it? A great spot. We stayed two days.
Our nearest neighbor------you know I wanted the story---didn't get it. But I take the opportunity to remind you of Thoreau's comment on Teepees: Hardly a man in Concord owns his house--spends a lifetime paying for it---and the house owns the man. The Indians, in a month, could build a cozy home--as good as his neighbors---servicable for a lifetime----AND PORTABLE. ( I would not swap my trailer for a mansion.)
Here's a sensible thing to do with one's time----took him 3 hours to paint his picture.
Nearby waterfall enroute to the wonderful Granite Hot Springs. I was having such a good time I failed to get a single picture of it.
Nicole at the wheel! ------After her parking demonstration we both agreed that she should do the driving----and so it was for the remainder of the trip. I loved it--- very comforting to be in the hands of a pro!

I'm anxious to tell you of our conversations and some of the interesting notions inside that pretty head-----I'll wait, however, till I've covered the rest of our trip. Next up: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Found myself stalled here in this vacant lot in Rawlings, Wyoming----asking myself---what next?
I'm ready for some company-----invited a friend from Chicago to come travel with me awhile----she considered---then said: "where are you?" ---I gave the exit #-----She consulted her sources then said-----"stay right there---I'll be there in about 48 hours"!
Sure enough---a giant truck rolled up and she dismounted with her backpack. Meet Nicole---friend and fellow adventurer you've seen on a previous blog--a remarkable lady I compare with Thoreau because, like him , she declines conventional careerism---choosing instead a livelihood that allows a large margin to her life. She reads avidly, thinks deeply, adventures widely----once traveling to the heart of Brazil on an esoteric quest. She speaks her mind boldly---a joy to communicate with. My intent is to Waltz with her (all human interaction is a kind of dance) across the landscape, enjoying the moments and reflecting from time to time on the process.
Our first night, July 4th, we remained in Rawlings and watched the fireworks from our window. Next day we traveled to Eden Reservoir and camped here.
Remote as it is--we have internet access. Thanks to my wonderful verizon air card.
A decent meal---rare for me.
Let me be clear---we are friends--not lovers. (she has a mate) I engineered this bed for her---sufficient for her nearly 6 ft frame.
Noted this sign nearby----want an oil well cheap?
And this one---what does it mean? Anyone out there know?
Hwy 191 toward Pinedale---that's the Wind River mountain range ahead.
Pinedale--home of the Mountain Man Museum---and festival---proud of itself on several counts.
Not least for this statue---officials in the tourist bureau assured me this is really what they looked like. The title says WORKING THE LINE.
I'll continue the story, perhaps tomorrow, of our adventures in the mountains and Jackson Hole.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I'M A QUESTION GUY----I navigate socially AND directionally by asking questions. Oh the doors good questions open---for example: Saw this in a pet shop--puppy snatchers caught on camera walking out with several valuable animals. I asked for details. The thieves were a team--used distraction. The owner a small pet shop owner could ill afford the loss. (I sympathized--and sent her a copy of my poem--why we keep pets---seemed much appreciated)
In what must be the biggest bike shop in the world---they had thousands in stock--- I asked to see the most expensive. Can you see the price tag? $7,200. Made of carbon fiber of course. A single wheel cost $2,200.
I asked what it weighed--he got a scale and showed me--15.59 pounds.
Asked this motorcycling couple about a mountain pass enroute to Laramie--they told me and shared that they were on their honeymoon--I asked if the windblown hairstyle was intentional--she smiled and I photographed the moment.
Asked this guy a harmless question to engage him---learned that he was returning from Illinois where he had just taken his father's ashes. The patch says "in memory of Al------".
Quality graffiti on the walls of an abandoned factory near Laramie---I found it---
and this----
by asking this guy--Dan Lewis---why he was prowling the ruins. He's a nature photographer and author of DIRT a non fiction book about ghost towns of Wyoming.
I asked this Bolivian guy why Bolivia was landlocked---no outlet to the sea. He said they had one but lost it in a war with Chili----are currently negotiating hard for a 2 mile corridor to the sea. He then showed me his hometown and the exact spot where Butch Cassidy was killed. His was a booth in a Laramie Festival.
Was quizzing an ex sheriff of Laramie about the Sheppard Murder (a previous blog) when he took me on a tour of his office, showing me this rare document---a copy of an invitation to an execution.
And finally showed me this---the actual safe blown up by butch cassidy in that famous train robbery. The tv in the background plays the movie dramatization.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Good question skills are an art form that makes personalities visible and differences obvious---a golden opportunity to absorb qualities I admire.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Below is todays mapping of yesterdays readers---and once again I note the reader on that 4x6 mile lonely Island of Annobon off the coast of Africa--or its near neighbors San Tome or Principe. Myself and my readers are very curious about you--give us a comment, please ,telling us about life out there. DEEP FREEDOM CAN ONLY BE APPRECIATED BY THE DEEPLY CURIOUS---It is the only effective antidote to the toxin of meaninglessness. The uncurious often fill up their lives with distracting and artifical obligations---like pets or gambling or status-seeking or money-making. Our real business here is to amuse ourselves---inexpensively. The following is me at my "work."
I begin my day testing whether Lama's really guard the sheep in their care. Several times I attempted to get near the sheep-----the Lama, amazingly, stepped in between--looking a bit menacing. The answer seems to be yes!
Early morning in a big Mall---stores not open--walkers welcome however--and I see this---an escalator cleaner--guy positions it, then lets the steps slide through a comb like device. Quizzed the operator--does this job several times a week--asked me to tell you to quit chewing gum (did you know it's illegal in Singapore)---and Ice cream----aaaaggghh such a mess!
A years-long set of friends, I learned---discussing vigorously as I walked past. Had a sudden inspiration: I stood silentely here till I had their full focus--they looked at me quizzically--then I asked without preamble: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT---FREEDOM OR EQUALITY? --then said: I'll be back next round for an answer.
Came back and was invited to sit. Sure enough--I had put my finger exactly on the dividing line of their political discussion. (and also on the dividing line of discussions across America). They seemed to appreciate the succinctness----I had instant friends. (have I mentioned elsewhere that PLAYFUL CHILD is the ego state welcome everywhere?)
Can you believe this? What if a store sign said WHITE SHOP. Had to see inside.
Owner was a bit touchy---managed to sneak this shot---typical of the products offered.
Ah---Barnes & Nobles Booksellers---a favorite way to amuse myself. I usually wind up buying one or more--guess they know that---and so let you sample the merchandise.
Spent the better part of two days here---A nature park at Ft. Collins, Colorado. This one a series of beautiful ponds with nice trails everywhere.
Like this boardwalk across a swamp. I've noticed that cities everywhere are doing wonderful things like this---art galleries--bicycle trails--nature parks---street art---festivals--music. Becoming people friendly and beautiful---I really think a quiet renaissance is underway. Denver is criss crossed with bicycle trails---and Eugene Oregon---my heart swells.
That's my favorite flower over there---California Poppies--growing in an old homested deep in the mountains along Hewlett Gulch trail. Hard to believe that two large families once lived in this remote spot. (Diana: take note---I have some foreground in this shot)
A harmless snake I almost stepped on--gave me a fright. Reflected on a poem fragment I wrote long ago: "If I could wish away danger, I surely would not----the evil in my world just thickens the plot.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I'm tempted to jump ahead and tell about my exciting experiment--just concluded (tentatively titled--Waltzing across Wyoming) But I'm resolved to catch up with myself--reporting on my intervening adventures. I will try to blog every day till I'm current. I write this from the old mining town of Smelterville, Idaho.