Friday, December 03, 2010


I'VE JUST SPENT A WEEK WITH A GENIUS. (will report later) Today I'm drifting West. The difference between drifting and traveling is that the traveler can easily answer the question: Where to? In drift mode I turn my internal radar on--- scanning for anything that might interest me---having no notion where I will spend the night.Leaving Quartzsite, Az----Down this hill is the California border, The Colorado River, and Blythe, Ca----often the hottest place in the US.

Of course my radar beeps at this sight---first time I've seen the word OUTCAST used on such a sign---a powerful, emotional word. I investigate-----It's not as bad as it seems. The guy is not slumped in despondency---he's reading a book---not actively panhandling. In fact, he's in pretty good shape. Consider---he has a pretty complete "outfit"----transportation, bedding, housing, food, cooking gear and water in the trailer. It's what he doesn't have that should make you envious----THE BURDEN OF EGO. He has willingly opted out of the struggle for status and possessions, radically simplified his life, found a comfortable niche and thoroughly enjoys the inexpensive pleasures of adventure novels. Siddhartha (the Hesse novel) descended to a similar level, savoring life on the riverbank.

In town, people selling puppies let me hold this one. I almost wept with joy.

Saw this in a window---decided to go see the site.

But it's late---I'll call it a day---right here in this empty lot.

This is not the huge project--Still I want the story! 32 panels---120 watts each ---3,840 watts. Total cost $25,000--feeds surplus power into the grid--earning money---about 10% on the investment. I watched awhile as they tracked the sun till it sank---then swiveled back to morning position. It tracks horizonally and vertically---almost doubling the fixed position output.

Oh sweet people---can you see why I fell in love with the West?

Next morning I explore my area. Found a transit camp for illegals. I've seen lots of them.

Out there---about 6 miles---is the site where the world's largest (of its type) solar array will be built. Locals are excited---for the jobs---and approving in general --of the project.

I dithered a bit--then decided no!

Taylor helped me understand why I so love the desert environment: It's SPACE, AND SOLITUDE AND SILENCE (away from the interstate of course) A trinity of nourishment for the spirit.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I simply cannot imagine a better life than drifting around like this. Perhaps a partner might spice it up----we'll see!


Anonymous said...

Looks like some cool stuff you've come across!

So that solar array that's feeding the grid has already broken even?

Anonymous said...

Hey Randy. Thanks.

Say--as you drive West from Blythe, on the north side of the road is a small building with a large cone on top of it. I've seen a few of these before on my travels in the west.

Any idea what it is? Am thinking it's part of a lightning monitoring system.


Dixxe said...

Why dont you adopt a puppy? IT would be awesome you have plenty of space to offer and DOGS make the best companions they never complain and they will always take your side!

Anonymous said...

A very encouraging post, on two counts:

1. You are starting to appreciate that bicycle-based travelers are the REAL Kodgers, certainly compared to fossil-fuel-burning RVers, who move every three days while rhapsodizing about solar panels and windmills. (grin)

2. You are also starting to appreciate that dogs are the ultimate Kodgers. In ancient Greece, the word 'cynic' meant dog-like, not 'sour and pessimistic' like it does today. One of the more important schools of philosophy was the "Cynic" school.

Rob said...

Cone-shaped antenna cover is probably an old VORTAC beacon, radio navigation for aircraft.

Red said...

Nor can I Randy... it is a great way to live especially with a partner who enjoys it as much as I do. She is are rare find.

Malone said...

Good morning. I just found your blog, thanks to Al, of the Bayfield Bunch. I am entranced, as Al was, and will be following you. Thank you for being on the planet and sharing your story

John Rosasco said...

Hi: Discovered your blog while reading the Bayfield Bunch. Very interesting I'll be following you.

John Rosasco

Luci & Loree said...

So did you get a puppy? they soothe the soul, to be loved so unconditionally.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the "DDM" Desert Drifting Mode. That is the mode we are in. EmPHAsis on the "we". There is nothing better in this life. The DDM mode and having a partner. Go for it! Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rob, thanks for the info on the VOR antenna. Yep--that's what I saw. Have seen a couple of them over the years while travelling.