Wednesday, June 22, 2011

THE JOYS OF SOLITARY DRIFTING

I LEFT MY COMPANIONS AT OAK FLATS TO TRAVEL ALONE FOR AWHILE----An amazing experience to be adrift alone in the world---without destination. If I wished, I could go to Alaska----or Mexico. I feel a pang of emptiness as I leave but I've done this enough to know some good reasons for doing so: To reacquaint myself with serendippity ---garner new experiences---challenge my courage---look into myself---embrace responsibility---wake up creativity. Thoreau understood: "a reason to get together is to share experiences----a reason to separate is to get some new experiences to share." On a whim, I decide to visit the old mining town of Miami, Az---a shell of its former bustling self--abandoned by all but the elderly and the visionless. A shrinking town is like a sinking ship---best to abandon it. I've seen lots of them---Modina, Utah (wrote a poem about that one)---Helper, Utah---Vaughn, New Mexico----Corona, NM.

Look what I found in an alley--a classic RV---an ULTRAVAN--a miracle for its day--weighed only 3000 pounds--powered by a corvair engine--aircraft construction-had no frame-manufactured in Witchita, Kansas--got 20 mpg. There are about 50 of them left.

I know all this because I almost bought one. Something like this is the future of RV ing.

Some are trying to reinvent the town as an antique mecca.

like this guy selling Indian artifacts.

I travel on---settling at a casino outside Globe, Az----So happy for the emptiness that I stayed two days savoring it.

A "posse" of Porsches? Rolled in for the night---turns out they do this periodically to celebrate their cars and themselves for owning so fine a vehicle.

Walked around an RV park----these folks paid money to plug in to electricity. If you find yourself yearning for an RV like this---better re consider---they are a major pain in the ass---they in fact own their owners---are horrifically expensive to own and maintain. I have a friend with one this size---he is selling it and building himself a small cargo trailer to camp in.

Walked the area a bit---enjoying the sunset--

I noticed this as darkness fell---will investigate tomorrow.

Aaahhh yes---Geronimo, I presume. Beautifully done statue.

I moved on to Safford, Az---changed oil--stayed 2 nights at Walmart---walked the town--got hot---checked the map for an accessible mountain. I need to get UP to get cool. Luckily, just outside town is Mt Graham---11,000 ft--and a road up it.

I drive up, up, up, till I feel cool---and settle in---at about 7000 ft elevation. Find a great place to park---even have internet service here. This fine road and the trails and campgrounds furnished courtesy the CCC in the 1930's.

And it's free---can you believe it?

I settle in for the better part of a week---hiking and just sitting with my feet in a cool mountain stream

One day folks came with two horses and two mules--stayed the night--rode the trails and drove away next day

Another day I detached and drove further up. There are houses and people up here.

And heroes----this guy rode up 9000 ft to this point and was on his way to the top. I stand in awe of great bicyclist.

Hot down there in the valley.----chilly here. Air cools about 4 degrees per 1000 feet you climb. I've wondered if an insulated pipeline could draw this cool air down to the city and cool a large portion of it--naturally.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I URGE EVERYONE TO LIVE THE LIFE THEY HAVE IMAGINED! ( Thoreau) I believe it is the best way to be content--and ironically to contribute.

(and "all you ever wanted to do was contribute"---Werner Erhard )

I think I'm ready to share my take on the Meaning of Life.









































13 comments:

Sweetchops said...

Who takes your photo when you are doing things like soaking your feet in the creek? Beautiful pics!

Randy said...

Sweetchops: A passing stranger usuallly. My camera savvy friends have tiny tripods that do the job, but I've not quite mastered it.

Michael said...

Great post. I can't wait for your meaning of life. It's a question everyone should be required to spend a great deal of effort nurturing, defining, documenting, articulating and of course revising. : ) If they did there would be less rock stars and wanna-be's in my neighborhood crashing into trees at 130 mph for no good reason.

Jim said...

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I share your conclusion about these outrageously priced motor homes. Moving beyond the obvious issues of conspicuous consumption, it's hard to honor those who sleep-walk through this life and find nothing better to spend that kind of money on. In a world where children die young for lack of food and medicine which costs pennies a day?
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The only thing that depreciates faster than a new TT or fifth wheel is a new motorhome -- especially those at the upper end of the price range. Most of them loose 40 to 50% of their supposed "value" in the first five years. That's quite a premium for driving the coolest toy on the block -- hoping to impress people they don't even know -- not by who they are, but only by what they HAVE.
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If their possessions define their value as members of our specie, their existence can't possibly be more shallow. I'm infinitely more impressed by folks who could easily afford such a beast but choose NOT to. Those who drive and live in less expensive accomodations are always MUCH more interesting to talk to.
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sail4free
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Jim said...

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RANDY: "I've wondered if an insulated pipeline could draw this cool air down to the city and cool a large portion of it--naturally."
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Of course, Mother Nature offers no truly "free" lunch. Natural cooling of a city at low elevation would warm the air at higher elevations = a trade-off which ultimately is UNsustainable.
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One thing smart building operators do in Phoenix -- which should be a mandate for ALL cities -- is they only run their water chillers at night when the equipment is MUCH more efficient and only runs about half as long. The cold water is stored in large insulated underground tanks. To offset the heat of day, the cold water is pumped back up into the air handlers as needed and used to keep the "graves for the living" cool.
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Where I live (Boise, ID), our ground temp (8' below the surface) averages 55 degrees (actually 2 or 3 degrees cooler than that in the summer). Our underground tanks wouldn't even have to be insulated. Yet the current trend is away from cooling towers (where cooling comes from sun-driven natural evaporation) and towards mechanical cooling of condensor coils using electricity-driven fans at huge expense . . . to the building owners AND the planet.
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sail4free
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Boonie said...

This is the first time you took time to praise and photograph a truly noble style of travel. (The bicyclist.)

Sondra said...

IS that Vintage Camper running still? Im thinking of trailer sitting on the lot that I told you about...I pass everyday...I know its gonna break my heart when its gone, undecided--
OH the feet in the Cold water is the best isnt it? Reminds me of backpacking...and what an absolute treat it was to come upon a cool stream and stick my aching feet in...awwwwww now thats instant gratification!

Randy said...

Sondra: Don't know if the Ultravan was running. But on a related note, I checked on my previous camper--the stealth trailer and learned that it is was not being used for camping--the guy just parked it in the shade in Phoenix. I strongly considered buying it back and selling it to someone who would use it.

Michael said...

Since I've ultralight backpacked I realize bikes are waste of money if my feet work and my brain is careful to chose what's really needed. It's just another materialistic trap that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars. Bikers whiz by and rarely communicate. When they do stop they talk about their bikes to justify the expense.

Anonymous said...

you're so pro abortion, too bad you're momma didnt have one. you big mouth drunk.

Brian said...

Randy

Here is a treat for you..... a new cargo trailer being built, if you know of others please post the links... on your blog

http://cttraveltrailer.blogspot.com/

Randy said...

Wow, Brian!---Thanks for the link--It's terrific--in several ways. An industrious and clever lady building her own cargo camping trailer. I checked it out extensively and remembered the joys of building my own home. I lived in mine for 5 years and even now miss its "custom fit for me" features. Hope others will be inspired to build their own.

Sondra said...

HI Randy Just getting back around here to see whats going on...WELL I ended up going back to work and Im taking your suggestion to heart save up for exactly what I want!!! 4 yrs--seems like forever but ITS NOT! See ya then probably.