Thursday, May 29, 2014
DRIFTING----THE RICHEST FORM OF TRAVEL
DRIFTING--- IS MOVING MY CURIOUS SELF--IN A GENERAL DIRECTION---AT A COMFORTABLE PACE---WITHOUT A DESTINATION.--- Said more poetically "I learn by going where I want to go"
Recognize her? Likely not! It is an idealized sculpture of Sacagawea the Indian lady who accompanied and guided Lewis and Clark. Not shown is the baby on her back. Her left hand, index finger, is grasped by the infant. Her right hand is pointing the way. This statue really moves me. It is located on the main street of Sedona, Az. I made a side trip just to see it again.
And I lucked out---accidentally camping next to my ex--Diana, writer/ photographer of http://lifeontheopenroad.blogspot.com/ . We used the occasion to take a hike together along Oak creek.
Then I went to Yuma, got my new tooth and hurried away from the heat--taking a back road north toward Blythe, Ca. Some 40 miles North, I notice some kind of a community far out in the desert.
Went there! Chatted with the inhabitants. Turns out there are 62 camps clustered on a commonly held piece of land purchased in the 70's from the railroad. It's big assets are quiet remoteness and access to the Colorado river. Now largely vacant---its winter residents having fled elsewhere. Here is a reality that many have fantasized about---a communally owned get-a-way in the desert.
Look it up if you are interested. From time to time a share comes up for sale.
En route back to the main road, a wild donkey approached me in the dark, then shied away when my camera flashed.
Found an overgrown side road in the dark and settled in for the night. Next morning I discover an oxbow lake outside my door.
And 50 feet away this sad guy. I gently evoked his story. From age 15 he has received SSI in the amount of $800 a month for being mentally troubled. Now in the middle of the month he is broke----said the money just slips away from him. I reluctantly gave him two bucks and wrestled in my mind how society should deal with him. $800 is too much---$400 is more reasonable. I can understand why the right wing folks gnash their teeth at welfare cases like this.
A hundred feet away another camper---friendly---well spoken. I'm amazed that people can make a home in this little stand of tamerisk trees.
It's a hundred degrees and so I move on to Kingman, Az---my fork in the road: where I must decide to go east or west. Still couldn't decide after camping the night in a vacant lot. And it's still uncomfortably hot--even here at 3,500 ft elevation. I learn there is a road going up into the nearby mountains at exit 59----so I went up up up
Till my altimeter shows 5000 ft. Much better---in fact quite comfortable.
So I settle in here on state land with a nice view. I will just stay put till clarity comes-- as to where to spend my summer. Flagstaff to the right is splendidly cool---but I did that last year. Maybe Colorado would be nice also. But then---I haven't been to the Northwest in some years, Ah well--
no need to force a decision.
Turns out I have neighbors: Three ladies who bought this old RV for a $1000 only to discover it has many problems including transmission and tires. That older gentleman there is a camper from a half mile away who is helping the ladies adjust. He fixed the transmission and the tires for nothing. A very nice guy, The elderly ladies are sisters and the younger seated lady is 40 yrs old and cannot talk. The combined income of the 3 is $1000 a month and they are now broke. I gave them food and money for gas.
They are caring for 9 dogs----six of them newborn puppies. Adorable to hold.
I became friends with this guy--Bill--who has a lot going for him. He owns land and a huge RV and has relatives nearby. We walked together in the evenings.
Settled pleasantly in for about 5 days---waiting for spirit to move me. And it did--will pick up the story in another entry.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: This is what it's like to be free and mobile and curious in a solar powered rig wandering about the country. Once your rig is "up to speed" (fully equipped) you can do this on about $500 a month. Less if you stay put more than travel. There are refugees, pilgrims, vagabonds and adventurers out here on the road. My theory is that every experience enriches me---enlarges my view---builds my character and identity. My step mother once asked what I would have to show for all my adventuring. I guess the real answer is ME---this being that
now looks you in the eye with respect and enjoyment--listens to what you have to say--and shares with you my take on things.