Tuesday, March 29, 2011
MEETING MYSELF ON THE ROAD
---HAPPENS OCCASIONALLY---Meet people "wired" enough like me in values and lifestyle to give me a glimpse of myself---often at an earlier age or stage----Makes me smile inside---congratulate them----compare stories. The guy in this van, for example, reminded me of my Van stage---a very enjoyable, efficient way to live and travel---about midway on the spectrum between hitchiking and motorhoming. This one exquisitly engineered to provide cozy comfort and mobility for perhaps 20 years. For the curious, I will report my Stages In my 30 odd years of travel: 1. Hitchiking 2. railroad hobo at age 12 (just one trip) 3. Motorcycle 4. Car camping 5. a bookmobile specially engineered 6. Volkswagen bug made sleepable 7. An Airstream trailer 8. ford van (several years) 9. BMW motorcycle 10. Winnebago Centauri 11. Isuzu diesel camper 12. small 5th wheel camper 13. The famous Stealth Cargo trailer and 14. My current 21 ft tow trailer. The owner of this rig mirrors me for a different reason.
He has mastered the art of inexpensive living and saving most of his income. He's just finishing nursing school---and he lived in this $3000 rig all the time---shuffling here and there---paying zero rent. He has determined to win his freedom in just a scant 5 to 7 years as he earns the bonus bucks of a short term mobile RN. I introduced him to the book Walden's Pond by Thoreau.
As if the ghost of travels past wanted me to see more---I find myself drawn to this famous landmark----Picacho peak---will stay the night on its slopes if I can find a free spot.
I settle in behind an abandoned Red Roof business. A campground nearby charges $20 a nite.
Exploring my area after dark, I find these guys---Ryan and Steven---bedding down on the rocks on a rather cold night.
Invited them in for a hot meal---we shared stories. Those guys are Me--thirty years ago.
Steven entertains us with origional compositions----said he earned $50 in two hours on 4th st in Tucson.
Next morning I made our breakfast and wished them well----As did Walt Whitman in 1855--surely he spoke of travelers like these when he said:
Afoot and light hearted---I take to the open road:
Healthy, free, the world before me!
Henceforth I ask not good fortune---I myself am good fortune.
Strong and content, I travel the open road.
I inhale great drafts of space
The East and the West are mine;
The North and South are mine.
All seems beautiful to me.
I can repeat over to men and women:
you have done such good to me.
I would do the same to you.
Whoever you are----come travel with me!
However sweet these laid up stores;
However convenient this dwelling,
We cannot remain here!
However calm these waters;
However secure this harbor;
We must not anchor here.
Together, the inducements shall seem greater!
We shall sail wild and pathless seas
We will go where the winds blow---waves dash;
and the yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.
Foreward!!---after the great companions---and to belong to them
they too are--- on the road.
Onward!!--- to that which is endless---
as it was beginningless.
To undergo much---tramps of days and rests of night.
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it---and pass it.
To look up or down no road---but it stretches and waits for you!
To know the universe itself as a road---as many roads
AS ROADS FOR TRAVELING SOULS.