Sunday, May 15, 2011


Casino parking lot--(Desert Diamond--Tucson, Az)--Campers roll in and claim their spot--(most prefer the edge)--We will stay the night--or perhaps 10 nights---We wish to camp free of charge---because we are self contained---do not need the services campgrounds sell---That's me up front---and behind me--a pleasant surprise---a lady friend from a northern forest---who, incidentally, found this rig for me and even negotiated its price. I hope to return a favor.

Lots of rigs roll in before dark and instant community is established. We walk the area and even a mile into the nearby desert for exercise.

Surprise guest drop by---the motorcyclist is Harlan--from Alaska--you've met him elsewhere on this blog and Doug, a member of my tribe---the WINs--( www, )

A beautifully restored bus from the 40's. They've been camping all over Mexico.

Some prefer whoppers---like this combo.

Trailer carries their car--a boat--and 2 motorcycles. The thought of maintaining all that--horrifies me.

This is a managable package---nice guy and his dog live full time in it.

A tougher way to go---not very comfortable---but doable. Long term living in a car--sadly--is increasing. With a few adjustments one can manage quite well. (remove 3 seats--platform in a bed---screen the windows for ventilation and use aluminum sun shields to block light and prevent overheating. I met a guy who'd lived many years in a carefully engineered falcon car.

Meet Frank---an alert, cheerful, parking lot camper--who--amazingly has lived 30 years in that van---He proudly showed us its gleaming 427 cu in engine.

Look more closely at him---can you see that he has his dignity--his independence. He has things to do places to go--books to read---He cost the taxpayers little or nothing. This may well be my future---and I will embrace it as a far better end game than nursing home care.

And this cheerful guy--is up and doing---skinned a rattlesnake--see it hanging---is making a leather jacket---has a tiny puppy for a companion--is solar powered--is excited about upcoming improvements to his modest home---WHICH HE BUILT HIMSELF.

This guy finds meaning relating in his head with an imaginary friend. No different , really, than James Stewart in the movie Harvey. He's straightforward, however, and when you relate with such as him--you know what you're getting.

This is a scary guy---notice the "boundaries" he has posted---that chair on the left and the motorcycle on the right define his space--he announced that no one should park near him.

Some loners like him are filled with anger and suspicion---I sense them with my radar and leave them alone.

I call it a night after an evening stroll with my lady friend. We celebrate our good fortune to be living so free and enjoying these western sunsets.

An early morning visitor---a roadrunner--very bold--and clear about its food preferences---no bread!---meat only please. It kills and eats rattlesnakes.

This guy showed up also--a Javalina---3 of them actually---didn't try to feed them.

This was my big surprise---a real live Gila Monster--right under my doorstep--lying still--and unafraid---the first I've ever seen in the wild--I've heard they are endangered and protected by law---are mildly poisionous if they bite you. It strolled away into the bushes. What a thrill!

As if I needed more attention from wild creatures, this little bird flew into my rig and sat on my couch for a picture-----then flew away.

RANDY RUMINATES----I love camping in parking lots----I'm totally comfortable at Wal-Mart , at Casinos as well as in the Boondocks. Solar power frees me to enjoy the serendipitous companionship of human and animal friends.


Boonie said...

What a shame. That nice little bird flew into your rig with a story to tell. He wanted to make it easy for you, but then you didn't interview him. I'm trying to guess which of those rigs he was the owner of, in one of his past incarnations.

Seriously, your over-promotionalism of parking lot camping never mentions that the camper should be half-deaf, so that he can get to sleep before 2 a.m.

Jim said...

RE: Boonie's comments . . . I've tried those foam 'roll-yer-own' ear plugs before but woke up in a complete panic and couldn't get 'em dug out quick enough. My brother is a light sleeper -- needs complete quiet -- and he uses a special putty made for this purpose. You put a ball of it in the outer end of the ear canal and then smoosh it out to conform = no pressure like the expanding foam.
He swears by the stuff . . . says it's completely comfortable once you get over the initial adjustment. He wears blinders too -- used to work at night and had to sleep during the day. Seems HIGH maintenance to me but whatever keeps the boat afloat, eh?

Ashley said...

Those are some awesome rigs! I especially like the 1940's bus but, sadly, I have my tiny Jetta right now. You given me new ideas about ripping the seats out:)

Anonymous said...

There’s a striking physical resemblance between Frank and you.

Rob said...

Ashley talked of living in a Jetta and was looking for ideas.

I'd suggest you take a look at

Rustedgranny said...

That bird was Tor in her new guise. She remembered well your kind hospitality.

Anonymous said...

I swear that Frank looks like one of your relatives. This really could be you in 30 years.