Tuesday, April 16, 2013


"I leave for as good a reason as I came: I have many more lives to lead and could not spare any more time for this one." (Thoreau --on leaving Walden Pond)
On a final walk around the Pond I catch this instant when an armed citizen is gently releasing a catfish he caught.  Not a particularly rare sight in Arizona to see firearms openly worn.

Then I'm off----feels terrific to be moving again. ......"lighthearted I take to the open road----healthy, free---the world before me" ...strong and content I travel the open road" (Walt Whitman)
I really do believe movement creates meaning.

There it is sweet people---the world's largest solar plant--located 15 miles west of Gila Bend, Az. Just about ready to go on line. 4.4 square miles of solar panels etc. read all about it.
Can you see the curved mirrors that focus concentrated heat on a pipe containing a fluid salt that can withstand over 400 degrees without boiling.  Heat stores energy more efficiently than batteries so this plant can operate 24 hrs.  

With a companion, I settle in for the night just outside town along a road under construction. 
 Wanting to know more about this crossroads towns, I engage one of its 7 city Councilmen.  Meet Ray Eckerd---a very friendly--knowledgeable guy who answered all my questions with a brevity and openness rare among politicians. I asked what the ongoing issues of the town are.  It was not about water as I suspected---but about garbage---which company to deal with.  Surprisingly, water is plentiful in the area. (ground water)  This city council invites and willingly works with businesses and builders and dairymen and solar enterprises wishing to locate here. 
 Ray's wife Tammie runs the huge gift and souvenir store.
Leaving town---saw this rare group of Black Motorcyclist.
 They are the Buffalo Soldiers riding club of El Paso---en route to  San Diego.
Interviewed briefly the (apparent) leader.  He told me his group honors the real Buffalo Soldiers of 1865.  Here's the full story.
Next day drove less than 50 miles and settled into one of my favorite boondocking spots: Jim Korsten county park.  Jim donated this lovely land to the county as a rural camping and picnic area ---specifying that it remain free of charge.
Called several friends in the Phoenix area and invited them out for a meal.  Great company and conversation.  The guy second from left manufactures those cute functional mini camping trailers called tear drops.  He adds a classy touch by making them of genuine hickory wood.  Check it out:
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  A delicious quandary sweet people--to be this free---and not knowing where to go next. The coming heat inclines me to go up---perhaps to Flagstaff or Sedona---or maybe back to the cool elevations near Springerville, Az.  But something grand is simmering in my head: Perhaps it's time to go home---a sentimental journey home to remember my boyhood in a North Louisiana sawmill town. The happenings there were remarkable and I would like to share them with you.
It's a thousand miles there and a $1000 dollars in gas to go and come back.  (no part of me wants to permanently leave the West) 

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