Thursday, May 31, 2012



Looks like a crumpled trailer---but isn't!  It' the latest thing out---a camper that folds down-- oragami-like-- for streamlined towing---cost $15,000.  I looked inside--few amenities---bad idea. (weighs 1200 lbs)
Just outside Columbus---this thing reared up out of the desert and threatened to blow me over. (didn't)

Columbus RR Station--now a nice museum.   Once a railway passed through here---connecting El Paso with Douglas, Az.  Gone now.
With the railroad and Army base gone---the town seems inhabited with "getaway people".
A common fantasy to--- "getaway to a tiny town".

I walked the town many times during my week visit---noticing this and that---like this mud wall---looking for interesting people to interview.  Found a few: A sculptor who settled here when his car died---14 years ago.
Poncho Villa brought the town to  National attention---when his troops stormed in---robbing, killing and burning in 1916.
WHY WOULD HE DO THIS??? I interviewed the local historian---his answer: WE STILL DON'T KNOW!!! It made no sense at all---made US mad---we mobilized---chased him all over Mexico--couldn't find him--gave up and came home. Lots of military first in this futile chase: first use of Air planes militarily---first mechanized warfare--first tank use----got us primed for WWI.
A major surprise---on a back lot---A SHRINE TO MEHER BABA.
Can you read this:  says: THE PERFECT MAN SHRINE
This shrine dedicated to the eternal redeemer
                                                               born 1894-----died 1969
I am the ancient one come to redeem the modern world
THE HUB AND HIGHLIGHT OF THE TOWN---THE LIBRARY.  Lots of computers---books---air conditioned---everyone comes---even teenagers.

You would not guess what's in this building---a water treatment plant---the likes of which--no other city in America enjoys.  Here's the story:  I tasted the city faucet water---and was thrilled---Wow!
like mountain spring water---tracked down the engineer----Turns out this city once had the worst water in the US---health dept shut it down----much thought and dithering---Then---Then--they got a grant for this plant----here's what it does:  IT TREATS THE MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLY WITH REVERSE OSMOSIS.  You know---the special water you pay .25 cents a gallon for----here, they flush their toilets with RO water.  What does it cost? About $30 a month per household.
Saw this growing wild--don't know what it is--but it spoke to me from an old poem:
"full many a gem of purest ray supreme---the dark unfathomed caves of oceans bear"
full many a flower is born to blush unseen---and waste its sweetness on the desert air"
Outside town a few miles in the desert stands this sentinel---a powerful light and camera--scanning the nearby border for illegals.
Meet Robert--75--a world traveler--backpacked six continents---joyful fellow--I asked him to dance for this pict to see if he was loose enough to play.  He Was---strengthens my theory that travel enhances personality--lowers defensiveness.  That's Linda (a previous story) behind.  He 's a "full-timer" like myself wandering the land. 
Prefers tenting
His gear---lightweight---sufficient---carries it all in a small motorcycle trailer-- that he pulls with that car---has his leisurely lifestyle down to a science.
Engaged this unusual couple in the dental office.  They live in a soon-to-be ghost town---Hachita---very remote--84 buildings--only 20 people.  She's an English teacher--he's a musician and builder.  He makes papercrete--a lightweight construction material.  They've  had it with the desert and are moving next week to Arkansas.  A rattlesnake bit her dog---cost $700 dollars for an anti-venom shot at the vet.  Dog survived.  
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I'm drawn to getaway towns---someday I think I will stop and stay awhile----carefully present my being to the mix---the self I have become-- and embrace the consequences.  (as in the movie---BAGHDAD CAFE) Easy enough to be Brilliant in flashes---wonder if I would wear well in time---find good friends and quiet happiness.

QUEST FOR COMMUNITY UPDATE--- We are loving it here on this mountain AND---we will move on tomorrow to the vicinity of Springerville, Az.  
ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY UPDATE: 3 of us---Laurie, Peg and myself moved on to experience a community of RVers who have purchased cheap land in a failed development---close to each other--settled in for the summer at a relatively cool 7,000 ft--- built a few conveniences--(water tanks etc) and enjoy the PRIVACY & PROXIMITY the world dreams of.  It's a cake-and-eat-it-too community.
Some of us in the caravan are considering buying a lot (3-5 thousand for an acre plus) as a sanctuary whenever we wish to just sit for a long while. We envision a reciprocity agreement with other communities throughout the West---so we get to meet interesting visitors and get to enjoy visiting other "sanctuaries".


Laurie said...

I love this "Cake and eat it too community"! After all what good is cake if you can't eat it!

As part of 'The Quest for Community Caravan' not only do we have cake we have icing as we dive deep into this experiment in living, laboratory for learning and expedition in championing one another to live our most inspired lives!

I feel so grateful to have this opportunity to share in cultivating this community while on my "What would love do?" Expedition and Vision Quest while sharing songs from my newly released cd 'Only Love'.

There is a song on the cd that I wrote which reflects my vision for this community in mind called "Open Handed Love" exploring an alternative view for community:

"We come together, we come apart. We share our lives, we share our hearts and an open handed love".

If you'd like to hear the song, I just created a video tour of my 17ft travel trailer for Youtube which I affectionately refer to as "The Casbah" because it looks like one inside.

Listen here:

If you are interesting in participating in this celebration of living, loving and learning as we create an intentional community on wheels feel free to contact us.

We will be embarking upon the heart of our journey soon as we purchase the New Mexico Park Pass which enables us to camp for free for the entire year after purchasing the permit.

Celebrate Life!


Anonymous said...

Check out

“At Boondockers Welcome you can connect with other RVers who have a location for you to dry camp for the night”

It was started by Marianne Edwards from

Anonymous said...

Enough with the down, the low and the out people. How about changing it up a bit and picking the brain of the excess, over the top person that can't leave home without EVERYTHING they are never going to use in their big class A Country Coach motorhome. Getting to the real reason behing all that....interesting I would think.

Randy said...

Thank you anonymous----that is a brilliant idea---the world has waited a hundred years for someone to bring together these two needs: the need to host and the need to be hosted----the need to give and the need to receive--the hunger to meet interesting new people and the need for a place to camp---a classic win/win.

Randy said...

Anonymous 2: Thanks for the challenge to get the story of the "up and in" for a change, rather than the down and out--- Challenge accepted!
Let's see what we can learn.

Anonymous said...

Hey Randy,

I had never heard of Meher Baba before reading this blog post. Now I will never forget his name. Thank you for turning me on to that reality.


Anonymous said...

I had never heard of Meher Baba either. Unusual person! Since I can not find anything for a Springfield, Az. I'm gonna assume that was a typo and you mean Springerville, Az. And Randy, I like all your stories of these unusual people that you meet on your trek. Unlike anonymous #2, I don't think they are all down, low and out...I think they are interesting. It's your blog and you can interview the big fancy rigs and high class people if you want to; but personally, I think that could be boring! Linda in Kentucky!

Maria Meiners said...

Not strictly on topic, but I saw this quote today and it reminded me of you Randy. Interestingly, I'm told it was written over 100 years ago.

"When they asked me what I came to do, I said 'I come to live out loud!'
For me it's about being authentic and present. It is about risk, failure, passion, tears, joy, living riotously. It is about making decisions, experiencing the choice and living without regret".
Emile Zola.

RiverCat said...

I had a great friend who was a "Baba Lover." Baba was most well-known in the 70's, I believe, and actually quite fascinating. What I remember most was the video I saw of him. During several years of observing silence, he communicated using an alphabet board and his movements were so graceful and fluid, it was almost magical to watch. I've stayed several times at the Baba Center, a spiritual retreat in North Myrtle Beach -- admittedly because I was in love with the magical feel of the 600 acres of paradise. His followers are generally very, very intelligent and I've enjoyed many incredible conversations with his followers. This one is RIGHT up your alley if you ever get to Myrtle Beach...

Anonymous said...

communication is the keys of knowledge my in happness an go in peace my fellow traveler.gary green

Kenny said...

The cake and eat it too community sounds wonderful. I've enjoyed this blog for some time. Thanks. kenny

Debbie & Vincent said...

Hi Randy,

We know Robert. Have talked to him quite a bit. He is a nice person. Say hello to Robert from us. We're in TA right now.

Debbie & Vincent.

Jim said...

I'm surprised more people -- especially young people -- aren't all over building their own smaller RV of some sort. When I was coming of age, it was my fondest dream to have a warm, safe place to sleep of my own.
I'm currently building what I'm calling a "sleeping chamber." It can fit atop the side rails of a pickup -- much like a large toolbox. The interior is sized to fit a twin-size mattress; even a super single (6'8" long) will fit. The walls are 2x2 wood frame -- super insulated -- even in 20 degree F temps, the interior should warm to 40F+ from the body heat of one person alone. It has 2' wide and 3' tall door for access.
There have been times in my own life where having a warm, dry, safe place to sleep would've made all the difference in the world. This design doesn't take up any storage room in the truck bed itself. I'm taking pics as I go and will eventually put together an Instructable for the project . . . so others can duplicate my build for FREE.

Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

Randy, We have a lot for sale. Ask Carol Berry to show you where it is. $3500.

Jerry Flores said...

Interesting pictures of Columbus. Just wanting comment on the shrine to meher baba. Don't know if you know this but the shrine was built and paid for by Earl Starcher. He was from India residing in Columbus. Very smart and kind man. He hired my father Robert Flores from Columbus to do a lot of the work for the museum, the shrine and walls( fence around the museum. Mr. Starcher ( believe that's how you spell it), later hired my brothers, my sister, my mother and myself to help with the labor of mixing cement, handling block, and stuccoing the walls. The shrine was built in partly by my father and Mr. Earl Sweetser who did the welding for the dome if I remember correctly( I was about 14 yr old). I painted it the first time. Must been painted again a few times.
I also wanted to note that Mr Starcher was very interesting man. He would not let's us work if he thought we would disturb the wild rabbits, snakes,birds, or even ants crawling around his yard. He believed we should not hurt any animal or person, wise words to live by.