Sunday, December 16, 2012


MORE WAYS TO BE FREE:  My readers may wish to see a recent blog by my friend Bob Wells on a similar tack:

Meet Mike---from Fla---met him in Deming, NM recently---He said he prefers to just wander around lightweight style.  Sleeps in the bushes at night--has a fairly comfortable bedroll and other gear.

This is the strangest vagabond I've met---has a powered wheelchair---saw him twice wheeling around Deming, NM.  He must have some place to plug in to recharge.  I regret not getting a fuller story of his lifestyle.  He was scary to look at as his face was partially covered by a dirty mask.  I remind myself that life is as precious to him as to any of us.  He has places to go things to do--needs to meet.
You may remember this guy from an earlier post.  He chatted with me beside a busy highway.  He too has a life---with goals to pursue---and a dog that counts on him---and at that moment was hurring to find a culvert to settle in for the night.
Met this elegant lady in Boulder, Nv---(she really was elegant) living out of her shopping cart.  She had dignity and poise--does it show in her stance? In the future we will provide a big wheeled LIFECART for people who wish to live this way--It would roll easier---have many accommodations--bed, cooking, cleaning etc---and a safe sheltered place to park for the night.  It would cost society very little and make life so much richer for them.  I vaguely remember that MIT once designed such a cart for the homeless.  Anybody have info on that? 
Met this guy in Outlaw Canyon, near Lake Havasu, Az.  This is the best quick solution for comfortable, cheap mobility---If you already have a car---it can be "engineered" for comfortable living and you can right away chase your dream. 

Here's a far out idea---this person apprantly rented a u-haul or stole one and ran away with it. I found him living in Outlaw canyon also.
Just one step up is a standard van with a bed in it.  This is my friend Linda (previous blog entry) with her box of comfort items.  She lives mostly outside at shelters and just sleeps in her van.  She has lived this style for 10 years or so.
This van belongs to my friend Ryan--It is super comfortable and well designed---solar powered--standable---refrigerator equipped etc Check out his blog on
OOps---correction:  it's  
And Oh yes----this was my style for five years---living in this stealthy cargo trailer---in many ways I miss it.  Happily it is now owned by Kay---someone likely to appreciate it.
Meet Steve,  He has done what so many have dreamed about---equipped a delivery van for comfortable living.  He gave me a peek inside --comfortable and still a work in progress.
He gets amazing mileage. (diesel)
This gentleman traveler checks his toys.  Notice, he carries a huge motorcyle and 2 ATV's in addition to his full sized trailer.  Lots of folks want to take all their fun stuff with them. 
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:   What all these people-- and a million more--want--is:

However crudely or cleverly we seek it----that is what we want.  What's more---it is what all humans want.  Kudos to all of us who---so boldly--REACH FOR IT! 

Monday, December 10, 2012



Meet Mike---traveling about on his motorcycle with an amazingly compact lifestyle.  He's been on the road many years trying a variety of  nomad styles.  Previous to the motorcycle, he had a donkey and wandered the wilderness areas of NM.  Hard to believe , but he has a PHD in Anthropology---worked for 20 years for an eastern state.  Now he focuses on enjoying each day and perfecting his camping art.  He lives with extreme simplicity---draws a few pictures.

This is his latest stove idea---It uses a candle for heat.
 Inside his tent.
 See the tiny candle in the stove? He said you could cook with it.   I engaged him extensively trying
 to gauge whether his extended periods of solitude had ennobled him---enlightened him.  I concluded that it had not---his outlook on humanity had grown dark---his social skills diminished.  He was friendly enough with Laurie and I but he raged at the world in general.
 Here's a beautiful nomadic style---living in a van --my personal favorite.  This gentleman is a very savvy friend of mine who just upgraded to this van and was putting the finishing touches on it's interior.
 Meet Richard--an electronics whiz---and a fair carpenter.  He knows who he is and how he wants to live his life.  This comfortable, efficient, stealthy van should take him happily into old age.
 His workspace. Can you see the electronics?--solar powered--great miusic system.
 Me--standing inside.
 I show you the front view because I want to take you inside that bus on the left.
This is a truly remarkable lady---she fell in love with the mobile lifestyle and then went shopping for a home that would move about.  She bought this diesel bus for a song at an auction---then set to work building her home inside.  Pretty good carpentry and design!  She earns a living on her computer---working the database for a national organization.  She has the freedom most women dream about.
 This is a brash New York kid doing a cross country bike ride---traveling as much as 70 miles per day.  He told me the cart was  better than loading his gear on his bike directly  because the weight had broken lots of spokes.  It was cold when he settled in and cold the next morning when he hurried away.  This does not look like fun to me---looks stressful---distractive of the deeper experiences I enjoy.   
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  At the heart of Nomadism is the quest for meaning. ONLY MOVEMENT CAN GENERATE MEANING (reading a book or thinking a thought is a form of movement)  If we have no movement in our life we begin to feel THE ANXIETY OF MEANINGLESSNESS.
Meaning----  like the glow of an incadescent light----occurs only when electrons are moving through a filament .  And our lives only have meaning when we are moving toward something.
My nomadic friends and I are literally moving to make meaning---to keep our brains glowing-to ward off the terrible terrible feeling of nothingness. 

Saturday, December 01, 2012


GLAD YOU ASKED!  ----AN INDIVIDUALIST IS AN INDEPENDENT THINKER.  It's what's in our head that makes us an individualist! And the affections in our consciousness that makes us a tribe. WHERE we are-- is irrelevant--these days. Thus we can belong to a "tribe" without sacrificing our individualism or our solitary wanderings.  Perhaps this catch-up montage of our recent adventures will illustrate.

Our group scattered after Caballo St Pk----we will gather again--"downstream".  Here I am parked near Leesburg dam, NM.  I woke this day to find a tumbleweed -- fitting symbol of my  lifestyle --visiting me. 

Drifting solitarily for A few days, I make my way to Rockhound St Pk.  Laurie may join me there.
She does not see me arrive and I take this surreptitious shot of her at the center of a labyrinth--doing--- whatever spiritually oriented people do.  She does not explain.  You may remember a shot of her in this same posture when she happened upon a fallen man in Chama.
 We stay a few days in Rockhound then make our way to City of Rocks St Park .
 Those giant stones are the size of Stonehenge---- hundreds of them.  Only 5 such natural sites like this exist in the world.
 We  meet a new and exciting friend---Malinda. I wrote her a poem naming her motorcycle: AZURE STEED.   She accepted the appelation.
Laurie, Sloan and CB join us for a few days among the boulders.
Then we scatter again and I go on a solitary venture.  Here, I'm amusing myself in the shrinking town of Bowie, Az----photographing an unusual teepee house.  In an interview, I learn that the population now is 300---down from 600 a few years ago.  I'm curious who goes and who stays in situations like this. Answer: the old stay---the young leave.
 Everybody has left this town---Steins, NM---I stay awhile to get the feel.

The group reassembles in Tucson for Thanksgiving.  We share dinner with a few hundred people celebrating an ALATHON.  Pictures of the meetings were not permitted---here's our group outside the meeting hall.  Oh sweet people--if you bother to find out what this was about, you may understand why I was deeply moved by the love, comraderie, acceptance and protocols of these amazing people.  I was allowed to sit in on three of their personal meetings---I learned a lot about the kinds of glue that can bond people dynamically together. 
As if my cup weren't full enough--next day our group shared a dinner at the casino Del Sol celebrating Tish"s Birthday -- Our new friend Malinda joined us for the feast. 
 On another night Laurie takes us all dancing.  During a break I capture a pict of  CB and Sloan---
Very cute lovebirds.
 Someone among us is a yoga person who has everyone stretching in the parking lot.
 On another day, I managed to get a picture of a Cougar in action.
And a coyote. 
 And a most unusual tree---what could it be?
In the center of a nearby labyrinth---Laurie and Sloan ponder the mystery of life.  
And then---on her birthday---CB takes Laurie and I to dinner at Claim Jumper--a terrific restaurant. Does her happiness show?  Friends who care for us--- make all the difference in our well being.
And then last night Tish treated us to a movie (LONESOME PLANET) at the local art theatre. We ham it up in an old fashion photo booth in the lobby.
A trinity of friends sharing the morning in Laurie's cozy Casbah
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I hope I've illustrated how a group of friends can "tribalize" without losing their liberty-----and can gain the enormous bonus of association.  We are all richer for our bonding. By being mobile---in separate rigs---connected by modern electronics---we preserve privacy----reap the rewards of cross pollination and human synergy.  What distinguishes us from an ordinary set of friends is that 1.we are committed to CHAMPION each other to live their best life and 2. To engage at the level of authenticity. If you are mobile and this appeals to you---seek us out--test the waters.  We envision a wide network of such people who wander in and out of the core.