Saturday, April 28, 2012


Longfellow spurs me onward:
 "Let us then be up and doing,
  with a heart for any fate;
  Still achieving, still pursuing;
  Learn to labor and to wait."
Take my morning walk---survey my scene--ask what is calling to me.
Walk to this valley---see houses widely scattered---why do people live so far apart?  Consider going out there to find out.

Decide instead to hook up and drive 50 miles to this fascinating place.

Believe it or not, people (and coyotes) are living out there among those giant rocks.

You can drive into them. I settle in for a few days.

They are a wonderland of secret nooks and crevices.

This guy has found his hideaway---lives in that campershell---protected from the heat by aluminum bubblewrap. Never saw him emerge---went looking elsewhere for a story.

Ahh yes!  There's my guy---resting in the shade on a lawnchair.
I learn that he has lived in his car for years---stays in this county--summer and winter.  I eventually got a look inside---he has not even bothered to engineer it for comfort. (remove 3 seats and platform in a comfortable foam bed etc)
Meet "Bill" the focus of this entry.  With some careful and patient inquiry, he told me his story:  A
 college graduate in agricultural science---worked some years---then lost his job---and lost heart.  He marshaled his savings and resources---calculated he could subsist indefinitely if he reduced his expenses to about $200 a month.  He did so---and has done so for many years.  His pleasures are reading and animal watching.  He left next morning to go watch turkeys.

RANDY RUMINATES:   Oh sweet people--this was a disturbing interview:  In some respects I am looking into a mirror---for that is essentially my strategy.  AND YET---AND YET--there is something terribly wrong,( I think,) in this radical retreat from humanity. Something essential is missing in his strategy:  HE DOES NOT INTEND TO DO THE WORLD ANY GOOD. He is turned inward--focused on survival and not thrival. I say it is not enough just to do no harm.

RANDY RANTS:  Self reflective consciousness is so miraculous a gift that it demands to be put to use.  I believe everyone on this planet owes something to the rest of creation---To be up and doing in some way to further the creative process.
Imagine someone giving you a billion dollars and you chose to do nothing with it.  That is the staggering ingratitude of any human who's been given the miracle of self awareness and does nothing with it.

UPDATE ON THE QUEST-FOR-COMMUNITY CARAVAN:  We are enjoying ourselves on a cool mountaintop inventing ourselves as a community and moving to a new location Monday.    

Thursday, April 26, 2012


DRIFTING IS WONDERFUL FUN---moving in a general direction without a specific destination or time constraints---  Not knowing where you will sleep or what will attract your attention. Here, I'm drifting towards NM.
Boonie and I decide to camp in this vacant lot in Douglas, Az. Next morning he's up and away to the boondocks for which he is named.
I am drawn to this formidable steel wall only a hundred yards away that separates us from Mexico.
Can you see it stretching into the distance---a 14 foot barrier that no one could accidently stray across.
It is here in Douglas that long drug smuggling tunnels have been dug.  You can see the broad cleared area on the US side to discourage such tunnels.
The entire length of the wall is dragged often by an  apparatus to create this smooth dusty surface that will show the footprints of anyone crossing it.  Can you see the tracks I made?
Leaving town, I cross the flat plain that the US paid Mexico 10 million dollars for. (The Gadsden Purchase) We needed it to facilitate an east/west railroad. read about it:
(thanks Diana for the info)

I travel this long and lonely road---meeting no cars--Then far out in the desert I see this border patrol truck perched on a hillside.  I park my rig just beneath him off the highway, to eat lunch, hoping he will come down to investigate.  He (or she) didn't.
Further on I pause at this significant spot.  Right out there, at the base of those mountains---Geronimo surrendered.  A brave Lieutenant did the negotiating.
 Look up this spot on a map and you will see that it is a lonely patch of New Mexico.  A tiny town, Rodeo, is just ahead.

I pass through it and down more lonesome highway.  Ahead are two ghost towns---Steins and Shakespeare---but I've already reported on them in a previous blog.
I call it a night at a familiar spot from last year in Lordsberg.---after a brief $100 pause at the DMV to renew my truck tags for 2 years. (a bargain)
Next day,  headed for Deming, NM, a fierce and scary dust storm buffeted me.  I quickly got off the Interstate, waiting it out in a field.
When I got to Deming, it resumed---in fact it blustered all night.  I humkered close against a Kmart wall and slept well.
Then went here for a few days--hiking and coordinating various aspects of the QUEST-FOR-COMMUNITY CARAVAN.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES ABOUT DRIFTING:  Few ever experience the ecstasy of pure drifting.  One must have his INCOMPLETES stabilized----his roadway clear of debris---fears under control---living gear adequate---senses alert.
Here is a summary of a real-life drifter---perhaps the greatest the world has ever seen: Ibn Battuta --from Morocco.

QUEST FOR COMMUNITY CARAVAN UPDATE. We are off to a terrific start---Our scout and pathfinder Boonie located a cool and perfect spot atop a 6,500 ft mountain with 360 degree view----AND good cellphone and internet reception.  We meet once or twice a day to hike and discuss. Will brief you on our consensus in a future blog. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012



There it is---Bisbee, Az.  We agree to park our rigs here and walk the town together.

A mined-out copper pit---the origional reason for the town.

A great evil occurred here in 1917  that shocked the nation and led to the modification of our laws and I encourage my right wing and Libertarian friends to read about it,  and  ponder the issue of corporate greed and arrogance and ask themselves about the proper role of government and the media.

Lotta steps home---a fairly common situation here.
When the mine closed down---artist and counterculture people moved in. They are still here---with a layer of rich folks attracted to the "juice" such folks generate.

The Peace wall----It's been my experience, that hippies know very little about peace---they talk a good game but squabble endlessly among themselves.

Seemingly, the town's only grocery store.  We went in and found philosophical quotes on the wall.
An aging hippy playing haky sack by himself---dazzling the little girl and us with his skill.
This guy and his friends have "claimed" a vacant lot and built an interesting "bark park" for dogs.
Murals are everywhere.  Jungians could find archtypes in this one.

Here is a homeowner's artistic request that you not pee on his wall.
Boonie leads through winding streets to the very end of town---this canyon's edge.  We learned that homeless folks live in tents out there.
Can you read that?  Says BISBEE BICYCLE BROTHEL.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Yes! Two is far more fun---than one--in my opinion. We found it fascinating that one saw dramatically different things than the other. Boonie would ooh and ahh at the architecture while I was fascinated by the social structure. Much to his chagrin, I engaged a regular looking guy for a story ---he gave it--(wife ran off with another guy--they live nearby--he's trying to cope)---gave us real estate info about prices etc---THEN---THEN--Suddenly got loud and religious.
Boonie showed me a new thing:  HE INSTANTLY WALKED AWAY---it stunned the guy and me--I muttered an exit line and hurried to catch up.  Boonie's explanation for his behavior is a classic---you can read it in the comment section of his blog about our Bisbee Visit.
I was moved to poetry by the incident:


Boonie and I met a religious guy
on the streets of Bisbee town
Who started a sermon 'bout liberals and vermin;
said all of em should be drowned!

But my friend Boonie won't tolerate loonies
(and I won't forget this day)
In a New York minute, he'd reached his limit
and suddenly walked away.
We camped another night together---then--true to his boondocking name---boonie drifted away into the boondocks--- deep into the Chiricahua mountains.  I'm hoping he reappears somewhere in New Mexico to flavor our Quest-for-community caravan.

Monday, April 16, 2012


ONE DAY I DON MY MEXICAN SOMBRERO---go ask Glenn to walk with me to a tiny lake I've spotted in the distance.

Out there about a mile!

Boonie will go also--so like  three characters from the Wizard of Oz--we set out---little suspecting the adventure that lay ahead of us.

Our happy dog---Coffee girl---leaping in the grass like a wolf pouncing on prey.

This mysterious couple stood waiting in our path.  I said "Hi, I'm Randy" (extending my hand)
He took it and surprised us by saying: "Yes, I know"---and (turning to my companions) said: "And you must be Glenn and you must be Boonie.  We read your blogs." 

AND THEN----AND THEN---A half dozen more strangers drove up to greet us.  Turns out, they are all writers in some form or fashion from  Patagonia who deciphered our whereabouts from the picts on our blogs-----and decided to visit us and share a picnic with us.  My cup runneth over---here in the middle of nowhere hobnobing with our "kind".  Did you know that Patagonia is a  Mecca for artist and writers. (The brad Pitt Movie---Legends of the Fall) was written here.)
The big guy seated is George and the Lady to the left is Salli---collaborators on a fascinating quest to interview America's Writers. check it out: .
Back home, I  look out my door and congratulate myself on cyber friends---who--on occasion--magically--materialize!

Next day, Glenn and I have a long philosophical talk----Can't remember the topic---just that it was satisfying

Here's one concrete consequence, however:  He made a flag and announced that when it was flying, he was open to interaction.  This to allay our extreme reluctance to disturb his composing---a simple but effective solution which illustrates a profound distinction between MORAL and TECHNICAL solutions to problems. A moral solution seeks compliance by moral suasion.  A technical solution seeks compliance by reconfiguring the situation.  I'm a big fan of technical solutions. 

Next evening we  head for the lake again.

And find it---small but important for local wildlife.  Lots of animal tracks around it---one cougar.

Next day---Boonie and I leave --(separately) agreeing to meet in Sierra Vista.  I pause to photograph this rare sight---a real cowboy camp. He was nearby--rounding up cattle.

Gave a lift to Shin (pronounced sheen) from Tokyo, Japan.  He was completing a long hike:

This one---The Arizona Trail. have a look and be impressed.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Going public with your life---e.g. blogging, etc---of course--has ups and downs.  I unhesitatingly declare my experiences--on balance--to be positive.  This one especially positive.  My readers help me grow---whatever they say.  And on occasion being recognized by strangers is a rush.  The bloggers I admire most are those who dig deep to report their feelings---high and low and who dare to live their highest aspirations.  Like these two:

Sunday, April 08, 2012


"BOONIE" ( )  said come----it's beautiful and cool up here---and GLEN MORISSETTE ( is coming too.
And so I went!

Enroute, I saw this---a cactus anomaly--that occurs about once in a hundred thousands times.

Here's a close up

I'm sworn to secrecy about the location, but am allowed to tell you that the nearest town is Patagonia, AZ.  (stopped to admire this unusual white tree)

I topped a hill and BINGO---I'm there.
OOOOOH yes---this is paradise!!  Movie makers think so too----a scene from Oklahoma was filmed here.  Nary a soul within miles. Boonie won't camp anywhere----for long--- that is not beautiful.

I settle in--- a hundred yards distant---- on the edge of a box canyon.

And celebrate my view---and thank whatever Gods may be for this wonderful world.

And then---and then---from a far horizon---on a road most campers would avoid---spearheading a cloud of dust comes the famous Glenn Morissette---of National news fame---champion and spokesman for the simple life---the efficient, cheap and splendid life of freedom.

From atop his rig, he surveys his temporary kingdom----and joins me in declaring it paradise---and thanking Boonie for searching it out and sharing.

This is about all you will ever see of Boonie---he will not allow face shots---seeks no fame.  He won his freedom long ago with hard work and careful savings---and once, in a missionary impulse, he recruited me to begin blogging---assuring me that I had worthy things to say---literally driving me to the verison store to buy the equipment---and tutoring me for a few days to get me started.  For good or ill--credit him for unleashing me upon the cybersphere.
Note the separation of our rigs---about a hundred yards. Boonie's rig in the distance, mine on the right and Glenn's Chinook in the foreground. My friends know that I occasionally yell speeches and poetry to the cosmos.

Glenn, on the other hand, makes lovely music.

We go for an afternoon walk with "coffee girl" ---Boonie's dog.

And another great day closes.  The trinity of bloggers, however, sit on the canyon's edge---chatting into the night.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES; Even mavericks and loners yearn for good company---and this rare convergence pleases me greatly.  It is my intent to Squeeze some gold (insights) from Glenn and to recruit Boonie for my NM adventure. 
Dear readers---need I say it again: THE GOOD LIFE IS OBTAINABLE----and ridiculously cheap.
At least a million of you already have enough money to retire and live like the vagabond kings here assembled.