Friday, February 24, 2012



Down an old abandoned road.

On the rim of this canyon.

In what appeared to be an abandoned campground--

But it wasn't---I had company:  Meet Mark from Oklahoma--he left that state and drove West for the same reason as the Joad family in the Grapes of Wrath--looking for work.

Of course I engage him---he pauses to get his little dog--who wants to be held.  "Got him from a shelter about a month ago" he said.  In just a few days they bonded and were now best buddies.

Clearly the dog was the light of his life and vice versa.  They are super poor---but I envied their connection.

They live in this $300 van---that just barely runs.

Sleeping together in this makeshift bed. I searched my mind to say or do something useful for them.
(though he did not ask)

Here's what I came up with: I found something to admire--his walking stick-(-look closely--that's a real rattlesnake skin. He told me how he skinned  and made it fit.) I also gave him some gas money and told him he could live rent free at Quartzsite and at the Slabs. Congratulated him on his courage to break free and search for a better life out west---told him a movie was made about this kind of adventure --- That it's hard to starve in America---that a really good life can be had for cheap.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES; I weep for him---needlessly insecure---woefully uneducated---unconnected except with his dog---not in control--nearly broke--without medical or dental care--adrift in an uncaring society.  He is indeed "LOST"---to himself---and to us. How ironic-- that the man has done for the dog what he cannot do for himself.  I believe that lost people---like lost dogs---need and deserve rescuing. I rage at the "sink or swim" philosophy of the  political right as well as the bleeding heart EXPENSIVE sentimentality of the left. We who travel the low road know a NATION-SAVING secret: That an adventurous, character-building--- mobile---low consumption---friendship connected---lifestyle can be had for peanuts.


Anonymous said...

Randy, America has 300+ million people. If just 1% of them took up the nomadic lifestyle you are preaching, America would have a problem. That would be 3 million people driving around back roads looking for a place to camp and sleep and hang out. How many are doing it now, probably under 100,000 at any given time. You should keep your lifestyle a secret because do you want to share the "open road" with so many others? It would be a problem on many levels for the people and the land.

Anonymous said...

No WAIT - Randy is RIGHT !

Now we have 300 million living on 1% of the land in cities, 50% of the land being owned by the government, in Randy's WORLD we would have 300 million living on 100% of the land without any roads, just like the Indians did !!!!

We could wait for the Chinese to come and build everything we need for us, like we did for the Indians :-) then 200 years latter we could own a few small Casino's and earn tax free income, for those who chose to work.

OH SHIT.... It just dawned on me Randy wants to take us back to the good old days, where we only had 1,000,000 people living in the whole country.

Anonymous said...

Randy said

And thanks Anonymous for the article about the real world---I do see the point--I see the stress and suffering--And I believe that most of it is needless--I hope to show with my life that simplicity, frugality, friendships can help make life easier and richer. That a surprisingly small amount of money is sufficient for the good life.

Anonymous says

I can't wait for the time when we get rid of money and stress & suffering from all that work, we can all just trade RANDY bead's with our equally frugal friends. How many RANDY bead's are needed to get new tooth implants in RANDY'S world ? OPS... did I remember Randy slipping across the border ( leaving Randy's world) to get some secret implants in another place, no no no Randy your getting special treatment for yourself.

PetDoc said...

I appreciate your compassion and the thought you put in to these blogs, and your thoughtfulness for this man. You can almost see the love he has for his dog by the expression on his face. Thank you!

Tom said...

Thanks Randy... I appreciate your blogs and selfless compassion for people in need. I admire you and Mark for living instead of just having a life.
My hope is to be one one of the 1% or 100000 one day soon because I'm tired of just having a life without ever having lived.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. You are a true artist, with an open and expressive heart.

shelly said...

Thanks Randy. I've known people like this for most of the past two decades. Compassion, whether for people or other living things, is the most important thing we have going for us. Money? Pah. A collective delusion. Do we connect or do we not? This is the most important thing in life.

farmlady said...

Hi Randy,
The Dali Lama says, "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others and if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."
You keep helping as much as you can. Your heart is in the right place. Just be careful about deciding what people need. That's what the "bleeding hearts" do and that's when the trouble starts.
Do what you can without harm.

p.s. What's with Anonymous?? He(or she) needs their own blog.

Mike said...


Maybe you can explain to Anonymous how it would work if everybody in America would follow Randy's advice and just quit work and become frugal ? Who would build the roads, bridges, schools and hospitals and gov buildings to supply all the FREE stuff ? How would people get rid of all their waste being pumped into walden pond - while camping there ?

Are you and your family following Randy's advice ?

Ash said...

You always seems to find the most amazing people and give us a look at the America that stays well under the radar. Thanks for the story.

Tammy said...

Randy l love reading your blog. Although l am suprised at some of the others who read it and are quite judgemental of your (and soon to be mine) lifestyle. Fear brings out anger maybe?

I also love how you manage to come across some of the most interesting characters, never judging, just asking and accepting them for who they are.

mike said...

Randy here is a good story for you

Retirement a Pipe Dream, Shocking Study Reveals

Thursday, February 16, 2012 5:14 PM

By Aaron DeHoog

It’s a frightening statistic: 33% Americans have no retirement savings. As in zero, zilch, nada. NOTHING! In fact, nearly a quarter of those age 65 and older have already depleted all the retirement savings they may have had, according to a Harris poll.

The cataclysmic result . . . many would-be retirees are being forced to make “other arrangements.” Most are simply cutting back their standard of living. However, some have no choice but to do what many once thought unthinkable . . . move in with their children.

Others are reluctantly planning to work until their death . . . if there is work to be had. In fact, it was recently reported that 1.31 million Americans age 75 and older are now working, a 25% jump from previous levels.

One thing is sadly clear — retirement is becoming nothing but a quaint, outdated notion. A pipe dream.

America’s greatest generation — and its descendants — have been betrayed by reckless government economic policies.


I am never surprised at how many of your FLOCK are drinking your COOLAID , blind to the realities of what is happening in our country.

Michael said...


Your interpretation of the article you provided as a negative to what Randy is doing, I interpret as supporting evidence for Randy to keep it up. Seems logical to me that learning to enjoy a simple life is a wise outlook when opportunities dwindle. It's not the government it's anyone born after 1985 that's the problem.

It’s all laid out, (National Geographic, March 2011, page 72) in the chart graphic of a 3 dimensional cube. One axis measures population, the other measures technology based on patents. The third axis measures affluence based on GDP. Affluence is a euphemism for over-consumption gently directed to the National Geographic readership. Notice how the vertical axis of affluence adds to the shocking exponential growth after 1950.

Any child born after the mid '80's should not exist. That is the time our planet surpassed it's population carrying capacity.

To bring that point home, next Thanksgiving serve dinner at 5:00PM, then invite all the people who were born after 1985 to dinner at 6:30PM. Laugh and tell them what a great dinner it was and how the system really works.

Peter Singer head of philosophy at Princeton did the fifth grade math in a 1999 NYT essay. By studying world statistics on overpopulation and over-consumption he found, if we're getting and spending more than 30k per year we're basically guilty of murder.

So basically everything is going to crap in a hand basket just as Revelations predicts. The only thing not mentioned is the exponential speed part. Humans don't intuitively grasp the exponential mean. So I believe all we can do is treat each other a lovingly as possible as we watch the whole world go to crap in a hand basket at exponential speed.

Anonymous said...

Love, Love this post. Love, love you Randy!! You make me feel good about mankind. I think it's wonderful how you interact with people, and it's a pity that the "Randy haters" have to post on here. I personally think that they need my mother to tell them "if you can't say something nice, then just don't say it at all!" I hope to meet you some day! Linda

Alberto said...

I just love it when you all pay those big fat taxes to support all those laying around Walden pond waiting for their free MRI's , cat scans , and big fat gov pension, disability & welfare checks. Only a gov worker can work for 20 years and get a 90% retirement pension for the next 50 years

California gov pension systems are currently 48 percent funded, with a $658 billion shortfall, or about $53,000 per household. This does not include medical costs and as we know the real costs will be 4x higher. I would say when all is said and done, its $300,000 per household.

GOD BLESS - Randy for telling everybody to work less & enjoy life more....

Those who pay less or no taxes, have less stress & get more benefits.

Maria Meiners said...

Ignoring the debate in the comments and focusing instead on the man in the article, I can feel his energy and sense his displacement and almost desperation.

There is a huge difference between those who live the mobile lifestyle because of choice, and those who do it due to need or destitution. I'm not talking about a physical or financial destitution by the way for those are fixable. I'm referring to a destitution of spirit, which is something that no government program feel good agency can fix.

Until that changes humanity will indeed be on the decline. Once that changes anything will be possible.

Shining light on Mark and his cute little dog...

Surando said...


You have such wonderful insight...

I have been inspired by you to analyze Randy the same way he likes to analyze Mike & his dog.
In the coming years I will share my insights with you about exactly what makes Randy Tick !!

I will try to save him , just like he saves those with less fortune... I have always been interested in getting his real story...

Thank you Maria for inspiring me

Anonymous said...

This was a good one Randy on your part, I applaud you!

I loved the debate, I'm always impressed by the incite & the foolishness of your readers.
Myself included but I keep coming back.

Retire? As soon as I can! I'm going to join the masses following Randy around (as long as the SS check lasts) & thank the folks still working for the roads-bridges and stuff like that.

Anita said...

Randy, I wonder if the man with the dog can read. When I was working at a resort in the NC mountains, I found that most of the handy men and other workers could not. Since I was doing graduate work in that subject, I came up with some games that taught them enough to handle most necessary paperwork and enjoy newspapers. If you spend any time around that fellow, you might want to touch that subject and see if you can help him.

Randy said...

Anita: What an interesting question----seminal and crucial question---AND I DIDN'T THINK TO ASK IT---(or discover it)I DON'T THINK I EVER HAVE. Henceforth, I will make it a point to find out--and maybe find a way to open that door.
Wow! Thanks for your insight.

LoveRise said...

"-- that the man has done for the dog what he cannot do for himself."

This poignant blog post about this man opened my heart with compassion.

I found your concluding thoughts to be insightful yet I would have to add that this man has opened himself to embracing greater meaning and purpose in his life thru his choice to adopt his dog.

In the providing of love, sustanance and nurturing to his dog he will experience the enrichment of that offering because truly in the giving is the receiving.

Finding this dog could well be the catalyst necessary for him to 'find his self'.

With much appreciation Randy for who you are and who you are becoming as you encourage your readers to become and express who they authentically are,


Jim said...

It's tough to take serious someone so paranoid about WHO *they* are that they must hide behind a name of "anonymous." (I don't use my real name either but a quick search for "sail4free" provides all the contact info anyone will ever need.) But whoever this all-knowing entity pretends to be, his figures are a bit dated. Before the finance industry crashed our economy (once again), it was estimated there are two million full-timers nationwide. (These are folks who live in their RVs full time and have no other residence.) Since the 2nd great depression began, that number has risen closer to THREE million -- which is to say that 1% of our population has ALREADY taken up the nomadic lifestyle which Randy loves and encourages -- and one could easily double that figure to include all those like our "lost man" here who are flying w-a-y under the radar.
I say BRAVO to anyone with the cahones to break from the dominant paradigm, flip the system a big ol' bird, and never look back. For all those STUCK in their indentured servitude for the rest of their lives? I can only feel profound sadness for their compromised imaginations and their profound inability to have an original thought.

NE'er said...

Oh my, the literacy question, and it's overall impact on a life, is such an interesting one. Having been a literacy volunteer, tutoring an adult who couldn't read, WOW, how lucky I felt to be able to, and something I took for granted.

Anonymous said...

There is already a perfect place on earth that Randy dreams about. " life that simplicity, frugality, friendships can help make life easier and richer. That a surprisingly small amount of money is sufficient for the good life"

Jim says "Since the 2nd great depression began, that number has risen closer to THREE million -- which is to say that 1% of our population has ALREADY taken up the nomadic lifestyle which Randy loves and encourages -- and one could easily double that figure to include all those like our "lost man" here who are flying w-a-y under the radar"

If Randy & Jim are right we could all live like this, the most wonderful place on EARTH where a surprisingly small amount of money is sufficient for the good life. SEE The VIDEO BELOW !!

Berry said...

I have a question ?

How is a guy like Mike who has absolutely nothing and can afford to go to a shelter and adopt a dog ? Every shelter I have been to wants min $50 to even take a rabbit home & you have to fill out some paper work to show the pet is going to a good home ?

What is the name of this shelter, where are the American cat & dog lovers ?

Randy said...

Anonymous: Thanks for the video on Cuba. It makes your point well....that Communism ends up impoverishing all but the Communist party-- kills incentive and results in a dreary existence--I GOT IT !!! Now try to get this---and let us reason together: UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM WILL ALSO LEAD TO A DREARY EXISTENCE FOR THE MASSES. A little reading about the robber baron era persuades most of this. Somewhere in between is a SMALL---FREEDOM PROTECTING---WATCHFUL GOVERNMENT--that Yes---redistributes---to some extent--the wealth. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are good examples of this MIDDLE WAY. All are in better shape than us.
But all of that misses my main points: That people work too hard and too long--live needlessly stressful lives--consume too much.
That millions have enough money now---to quit work and enjoy life---simply.(opening up millions of jobs for others)
I sometimes hope that the right wing crazies win the next election and gain control of both houses---and vote their ideas into policy. Once we get a real dose of their religious nuttery and their Capitalistic Savagery we will then vote them permanently out of office.

coupe2u said...

I believe you misunderstood the cuban video pictures and anonymous' point. I think anonymous was being honest and positive about life in Cuba - take a look at the comments of the people who saw the video - they found it a beautiful portrayal of life. Life in Cuba may not look good to you but it is an example of where one can have a quality life with very little money. Literacy in Cuba is over 95%, secondary education is over 95%, everyone gets basic health care, infant mortality is very low. The video portrays people living the very life you recommend and you take it negatively and say they are living a dreary existence. Why is it dreary?? Yea, the buildings are run down and they drive old cars (maybe the US embargo has something to do with that) but it is quality of life that is important. In spite of your protestations to the contrary, I don't think you got it. .

Anonymous said...


YOU are my new GOD... Randy is totally in the dark, cuba is the perfect example that he PREACHES 24/7 !!! day and night, but yet he cannot see the forrest for the trees !!

Coupe2u you said it perfectly "it is an example of where one can have a quality life with very little money" this is 100% exactly what Randy preaches.

Randy is in WRONG "Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are good examples of this MIDDLE WAY" yes they are BUT !!! they finance the good life with unlimited oil reserves "like our Alaska" and they have 75%+ tax on everything, prices are sky high, you will never save anything as its taxed away AND they have a very small population together less then 10% of the USA.

What Randy PREACHES is 10,000% pure CUBA, because in Norway, Sweden, Denmark - RANDY would freeze his ass off living in his paper thin minus -40 degrees in the winter.

Anonymous said...

Cuba is the exact american version of Slab City and we all know how much Randy loves Slab City, that is where all his "Mikes live"

Anonymous said...

hey anon, you are insulting

Trina said...

Randy. Are you OK. Are you safe.You have not posted in just two more days it will be two weeks.If you are OK let us know.
God Bless & safe journey.

sooze said...

i admire your compassion ...