Friday, March 18, 2011


AN EXPERIMENT IN OPTIMAL CONNECTION----WHAT IS THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CAMPMATES My tribe----camped at Quartzsite, Arizona---for 2 weeks---about 150 individuals---lot of fun--lot of social options. Good place to look for a partner? But overwhelming for some.
So a small group of us decide to camp together---I suggest a deep desert place I like.
So we go there! You are looking at a logistical miracle down there:--- six complete lifestyles---separately powered---separately paced--- disassembled from place A--- individually made their way 50 miles--- to place B---and reassembled there----within an hour or so. Our Wagon train predecessors would be amazed. Theirs was a similar pattern however--- averaging about 20 miles in a good day. I have poetized on the similarities in A WANDERERS AFFIRMATION
..........We are second wave pioneers,
Blazing trail to a new lifestyle;
Perfecting the art of mobility;
Guiding our swift cozy wagons
Across mountains, deserts and plains;
Stopping briefly in the valleys of anywhere;
Letting night overtake us
everywhere at home.

Ground level view showing how the pack---sorts itself out----each --on arrival---"feels their way around" to find their "spot." Most are very particular about their spot---I know I am. Getting level is a primary concern--followed closely by orientation----I prefer facing West in the winter so that my solar panels can tilt for maximum sunlight. Others feel strongly about locating always on the edge of a group----some want the morning sun to beam cheerfully into their front window---some gimpy folks locate near the assembly place so they won't have far to walk. Others will not park near (noisy)generator users. I've seen Diana maneuver extensively to avoid them and/or to give herself a good view.
So we settle in and hike our area---right away we are surprised to find neighbors a mile away who've come to view the stars. This is just one of their smaller telescopes--the big one was sheathed.
But to hurry my story along---we stay two days then go to Phoenix---several folks purchase new solar panels then spend a week in Lone Butte casino parking lot installing them---and getting a "city fix" (seeing movies buying stuff)---It's a big help to have smart friends handy for consultation, tools, assistance-----THEN we agree to move to another lovely desert sanctuary----down there--at the base of that distant mountain.
This is Harlan---an Alaska guy who'se everything you'd expect an Alaskan to be--bigger than life----his rig is huge--his grip is awesome---his toys and tools span the spectrum--an expert mechanic---a fisherman who makes a good living working 2 weeks of the year---good natured--with a wealth of hilarious true stories of his adventures. He is one of the few people alive who has actually been in the same tree with an angry bear. Getting ready to travel is more of a chore for him than others---that silver thing is a firepit --the second motorcycle is for off road travel. Atop his rig he has constructed a patio. Anyway---with his toys snugly stowed--he is almost ready to travel.
Safely ensconsed in our new spot---from Harlans patio, I will pan 180 degrees to show how we've sorted ourselves out here. (one of those solar panels has an unhappy fate in store for it--a week after this shot--a freak wind gust tore the big one off----He was not unduly ruffled---simply bought another and installed it more securely.)
More of our tribe joins the pack. And rain is on the way.
Looking North--that's my rig and barely visible , two other members.
Finally, looking east the rest of the Pack. Note the patio rails---they lie flat when in transit. I think those things attached are speakers.
Me dancing with Nelda---age 82---she joined us for a day or so---She's determined not to grow old. I watched her jump out of a plane not so long ago---skydiving. That's her rig on the left.
Jay---from Idaho---showing us the wooden kitchen items he makes and sells at flea markets---joined our happy company for a few days.
As you can see---makes quality stuff----(about$5 each)
Then Pat joined us---a master guitarist---wow! entertained us at night round the fire.
That's Rich accomodating Luke---someone else's dog---who insist on being at the heart of whatever is happening. He literally slithered himself onto this lap. During the day Luke will come calling on several rigs---just to say hi---and "any scraps of food handy??
The rain came----Delicious---I feel cozy and I celebrate for the thirsty desert plants.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Traveling aside---it's possible to have too many friends and too few friends. Studies show that a personal social circle of more than 15 is too large to "service"----do what friends do for friends. My circle of friends is considerably smaller than that. Too few friends and you lack sufficient "reflection" to know who you are----and your rough edges will stay rough. I expect my friends to polish me and I will help polish them. Like stones in a tumbler friends slowly make each other more beautiful. (character wise) Traveling as an RV tribe speeds up the tumbler and thrusts out those too painful to tumble with. I've seen social savages "evict" themselves from the tumbler in less than 24 hours. But I'm slightly off target---the blog question is about optimum travel tribe size. My guess is a minimum of 5 and less than 15. And so much the better when one or two drop away and fresh new personalities replace them----somewhat like a whirlwind making its way across the landscape---the pattern remains the same while individual particles are constantly being pulled in and hurled out.


john patrick said...

Awesome. Thanks, Randy!

Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

Where is your usual wonderful narrative.

Anonymous said...

Your group has the lifestyle of many dreams.
Thanks for sharing

Randy said...

Bob/Donna---thanks for alerting me--computer glitch--got it fixed.

Rustedgranny said...

The comparison to a tumbler. Perfect. That is what I appreciate about you - your ability to see people, what we are, and what we could become. Feel free to polish and if I complain remind me that I asked!

john patrick said...

Again, thanks Randy. You have a unique outlook on things that many are unable to experience, right now. Grapes of Wrath in the hinterlands.

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed your writings & all the pics of Arivaca, my fair town. You have chosen a wonderful retirement lifestyle, one that I would envy more if I didn't live here in this eclectic community. Happy travels.

Dawn Amo