Friday, April 15, 2011


EPIPHANY: A SUDDEN REALIZATION---OFTEN TRANSFORMATIVE OF CHARACTER OR PERSPECTIVE. -----MEET A GUY WHO HAD ONE. The story starts here---I'm on my way to experience a legendary town in southern Az --late evening catches me here and I camp for the night in this vacant lot of a tiny tiny town. I've traveled 50 miles today---about as much as I care to drive in a single day. ( stopped 5 times to investigate stuff)
Across the way is a familiar looking bar----and suddenly I realize that I've been here before. (I remind my readers that on average I camp in 110 different places per year) Tonight---when things get hopping---I will go have a beer and engage some locals.
But AAAHH---A surprise awaited me. When I walked in--a voice rang out---LOOK---ITS THE KODGER MAN. Someone had been reading my blog---and recognized me from a year ago. He told me that my description of the town and the bar scene dynamics in particular were spot on accurate and created a few laughs.
The bar maid is different, however,---but no less friendly---as I quizzed her about the nightly drama of having to "cut someone off." Turns out that the very person who had been "cut off" last year had already been "cut off" tonight. I marvel that such a fragile looking lady could muster the gumption to handle liquored-up men. Consider how difficult the decision as to when someone has had enough---yet she seemingly had no problem discerning that fine line or making her decision stick.
I engaged this gentleman briefly---a regular it seems --- longtime resident and worker---as friendly and open as I could ask. It struck me that communities of two cultures (e.g. Blythe California) often have separate bars. But in this towns' cultures mix in this one bar enjoying each other.
I'll get back to the Epiphany subject--but I wanted to show two changes I noticed from my last visit. This teetering house that I photographed then--has now collaapsed. ( check the post of 3/21/10---A Night in a Dead Zone Town )
I took a photo of this church then and there's no sign of this huge century plant. The largest I have ever seen---maybe a world record--I estimate its height at 32 feet. We "westerners" know the dramatic story of a century plant in bloom ---It stores up energy for 15 to 20 years and then spends it all in a matter of weeks---thrusting up that stalk at a terrific rate---as much as an inch an hour---then blooms and makes seeds----AND THEN DIES. A great metaphor here about parents sacrificing their lives for their kids. (punch up century plant and read the brief Time article--good stuff can be made from this plant)
Now back to my Epiphany story. I meet people fairly often who have been "seized" in a mysterious moment----turned their lives around---and then boldly proclaim their convictions to the world---like this truck driver.
And the Dutch couple traveling in this rig. (more about them in a future blog)

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: The guy shaking hands with me in the bar---had such an epiphany--and he told me all about it as he drove me about the area. He suddenly "saw himself" as "off the path"! And then and there decided to get back on it----And he is doing it---for some months now he is keeping true to his vision. He still goes to the Bar---that's where his friends are---but he has stopped drinking. Most notable about him, he is not trying to evangelize his friends. They seemingly are still his friends --- accepting him along with his new manner and morality---not teasing or disparaging his experience. I speculated that in a very small town we are more likely to hold on to our limited number of friends---even as-- they make left,right and u turns in life.


john patrick said...

Great. Thanks, Randy!

heyduke50 said...

i love bars that the blue and white collared folks blend together... much more meaningful conversations emerge...

Ed Goad said...

Hi Randy,
This is Ed from Oak Flats a few days ago! I made it to my daughter's place in Mesa where i'll be for another week or so before heading back to Alabama.
It was sure good meeting and talking with you the other night. An exceptional moment ; )
Be sure to email me so i can email you back some poems and stuff.
And be sure to come see us when you get near Huntsville, Alabama.
Thanks for the encouragement, and for you being you!

Randy said...

Hi Ed: Nice to hear from you----The pleasure was mine to meet a fellow poet. I also admire your efficient and economical mode of traveling----and living. If the world was as frugal as us---most of it's difficulties would vanish. My e-mail address is

Anonymous said...

My comment is not really about this post, but about your modus operandi in general.

I would usually be interested in whatever topic or idea you want to discuss. But it seems like you hold back on ideas and topics until some chance encounter on the road "legitimizes" the topic. There is some real inefficiency in this "Charles Kurault of the BLM" approach.

Even worse, you are turning CONTROL over to mere chance and to desert rats(hobos and hippies, urban trolls, Vietnam vets in the national forest). These people are not so terribly fascinating. Why do they deserve the compliment of being handed so much power?

Please forward my complaint to the Reader Subscription department.

Anonymous said...

Randy is a free spirit. He writes when, how, and whatever he feels like. And that--is just fine.

Randy said...

To Anonymous #1: I think you make a good point. Looking back at my posts it seems that I do indeed just drift into situations and then blog about the meaning I see in it. On occasion I initiate a major encounter (Mormons and Horses 10/16/08 and Kodger King Konfronts a preacher 9/5/08)
Perhaps I would enjoy tweaking my style a bit: Just bald face ranting sometimes (I do it in private moments and with my friends) and 2. infusing more intent into my travels. What interest me most is polishing personalities (what works--what doesn't) and clarifying THE GOOD LIFE)

Anonymous said...

Hadn't visited your blog in a while. Looks like you've been traveling in the same general area where I've been parked all winter. I did a blog on Arivaca a while back. Regarding your 'posting' style, I relate to finding things and people to write about - whatever shows up. Ranting on the page is something I do infrequently.

Happy trails - going where no one else dares to go!

Oilit said...

I don't wish to take up to much space on your blogspot which is BTW excellent reading. I'm at the beginning of the learning curve for living in an RV hopefully as frugally as possible. Spent the last 3 months in Lucerne Valley but feel it is time to move on but really have no idea where to head next. I was wondering if there are any discussion forums that you might recommend that deal with this sort of boondock RV'ing

Randy said...

Oilit: Try ---and there are lots of others. ( -- ----Not knowing where to go next is a common problem---happens to me often---but really it's a wonderful luxury. I'm familiar with Lucerne Valley---gonna get hot---I recommend traveling up hwy 395 following pleasant temperatures--lots of good campsites. And welcome to the prime challenge of our lifestyle---how to generate meaning.

Sea Gypsy said...

The real trick is to see the beauty behind the mundane exterior.The great ones do look deeper and find truths that the lesser minded miss. Beauty where none is apparent. Thoreau for instance. He would watch nature for many hours to learn their stories. All deserve their 15 minutes. Randy gives those who wouldn't have the chance to be discovered and heard. Not a bad thing to do for humanity.

john patrick said...

I'm looking forward to Randy's next adventure!