Monday, May 13, 2013



Have not been home in many years---and I'm feeling the urge to make (perhaps) a last trip to my roots in rural Louisiana--to see what it has to say to me. I leave from Columbus, NM.

Take the border road to El Paso.  In the middle of nowhere ---see these two horsemen (yes there are two) riding slowly across the desert---looking down.  They wave to me.
Seriously dry badlands.
 I stop an assemblage of  Patrolmen and ask what the riders are doing.  Looking for the footprints of illegals--of course.  I also ask if these are the infamous badlands of NM sung about in Marty Robbins El Paso song.  This is them he said.  Nice friendly guys--they also directed me to a tire shop.
 Right there--a quarter mile away are the hovels of Juarez Mexico.
 I got 4 new tires and drove on to this ghost town---will stay the night here.
 Here's how to boondock in Texas. (since it has no BLM bureau of land management land as the other western states do)  Just find a little used road---get about a mile off the interstate and settle along the generous shoulder.  Here I am next morning.
I check out several abandoned houses trying to piece the story together---why did everybody leave?  Still don't know.
 This old school intrigued me.  Decided to investigate.
 As I approach--was startled to see this:  The ghost of a past principal?
 Not really!   A truck driver--curious like me about the building.  He told me he had passed it for years but decided today he would investigate.  Together we talked---AND THEN----AND THEN.
 A beautiful woman pedals up.  Meet Kelly---on a solitary cross country odyssey to the east coast.
 I gave her a cold chocolate Yoo Hoo---seemingly appreciated.
 Mike hurried to give her (and me) some delicious naval oranges. 
Kelly records the moment with a time shot.
And then we sat and talked a long while. Kelly rides about 70 miles a day---about as far as I drive---has full set of camping gear.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  A very unlikely convergence in a ghost town.
Moments like this make my life rich.


Dan said...

Hey Randy, did your cyclist friend have a blog going or anything like that?

Anonymous said...


I live not too far from the abandoned school house. Are you taking Hwy 118? You should check out the Terlingua ghost town along the Rio Grande not far from Lajitas, Texas. Great people and great stories.

George said...

Really nice post, evokes really nice feelings. I also love to ponder about abandoned houses and can see in my mind's eye what it might have looked like brand new, and wonder about the folks who had it built and what were their dreams.
I'm going back home too, leaving tomorrow. Will drive by all the places I lived and worked. And lastly the cemetery where most of my family is buried. It's good to do this from time to time.
Can't get over how fearless our young women have become. It's a wonderful thing that they seem to feel much more free to do things, take risks, etc. than previous generations.

Aeagles said...

Cool, Randy, cool post.

Tesaje said...

A fun convergence. When I was young, I had that courage too in the 1970s. I just figured that I could wait my whole life for someone of like adventuresome spirit to come along and be willing and able to accompany me. You have to grab your life when you can. Just don't be stupid. I am very glad I did because now that I have more means and time, I also have a lot more injuries that prevent me from cycling like that.

Oh, and Randy? Texas is not really a western state. It is a bit of its own thing but a lot more southern than western.

gary green said...

hey now,randy good your going home, hope you find what you are looking for.fellow traveler gary

Beth said...

Hey Randy,

Because you are a COOL guy and LOVE spontaneity, check this out...

Part 1

Part 2

sail4free said...

Hey Randy -- that truck driver reminded me of my Dad -- cigar and all (also a truck driver). He learned that a lot of truck accidents happen during the "twilight hour" -- that magical time between when the sun goes down and when it gets dark. So, wherever he was, he'd pull over and walk around (often in the southwestern desert) for that hour -- take a good fresh air break before the lights come on.
That first shot could have easily been him -- standing there quietly taking everything in. I just now realize he's been gone for almost as long as I knew him. I'm 59 now and I was 30 when he died. He only made it to 48 . . . I hope to live twice that long.

Gypsy Boho said...

Looking forward to reading about your return to your roots in Louisiana... which is where I live.

Anonymous said...


Where did you get those trailer mirrors?


Randy said...

Anonymous---re: the truck mirror extensions. Bought the small fisheye's at Auto Zone and glued them onto a piece of aluminum and it onto the regular mirror. They work reasonably well.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info on the mirrors. Gonna give it a try as I can't find any that work with my mirrors.

Laurie said...

Hey you really think you should be handing out my 'yoo hoo' sooo indiscriminately!
(Huge grin and hearty laugh)