Sunday, August 30, 2015

YOU WANNA LIVE THIS WAY---Part 3---SALIDA--LEADVILLE

NO NEED FOR MOBILE PEOPLE TO EVER SUFFER THE HEAT.  The saving formula to know is that each thousand feet of elevation lowers the temperature 4 degrees on average.  Colorado is therefore perfect for the summer--just pick the elevation you're comfortable in.

Denver was too warm so I started climbing till nightfall caught me--selected an exit at random and soon happened upon this closed road----Perfect---I settled in right there.


Turns out I was near  Dinosaur ridge museum. So I walked over and got the story.


Can you appreciate the fact that you're looking at a giant's footprint that is 65 million years old.

West on 70 the serious mountains show themselves

The Eisenhower tunnel--one of the great ones--right through that mountain.  The highest tunnel in the world--11,000 feet.

These are MCMANSIONS west of Denver--hundreds of them.


Further West at Dillon--even bigger mansions.  Locals told me they are owned largely by out of staters who use them only a few weeks a year.  I'm sure they are legal, but there's something immoral about this vast waste of resources.  There are better things to do with wealth.

Boondocking in Dillon was a challenge--but I found a nearby frisby golf course and spent the night.

The town is ritzy ritzy with fashion name brand stores. For some reason I'm uncomfortable --even resentful of towns like this. Living a ritzy ritzy life is a sure sign that you're an asshole. Goddammit there are important things to be done and we need you, your creativity and your money.  Keep in mind what happened to the Nobles during the French revolition.

Towns like this---Leadville---old-- historic--with colorful characters--don't set me off like Dillon does. 
A man might choose this town to die in.  Can you read the sign around my neck: says HERE LIES LES MOORE---NO LESS NO MORE
Just outside town, a vast open forest invites me to camp free and enjoy mountain views.

I stayed about 2 weeks with a variety of companions ---got chilly and moved to the forest outside Salida--about 3000 feet downhill and 12 degrees warmer.  Down there a thousand feet is the beautiful Arkansas river valley.  Love the view from my door.

Camped and hiked with an old friend here
Those are both "fourteener" mountains.
Higher up the mountain is a vast meadow with great views in several directions---it waits for you to come camp here--free of charge.
One day we ran across this wierd thing---left it alone.

And then we came back to town and clustered beside the river.  For those with sharp eyes that's the popular blogger Kimbo Polo's rig in the middle.

Morning walk with companions Jeanne, dog Riley and in the middle is the  blogger Kimbo Polo.

The beautiful Arkansas River.  Arguably the most beautiful in the US 
because it was selected by Christo for this whopper of a project he calls "OVER THE RIVER".
These three views show how it will look from high in the air,  from the river level and just above it.  it will be  miles long in 4 separate segments making its way through a canyon south of town..
Like his other awesome projects it will stay up only two weeks. Read about it here .


RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  If and when you become a butterfly, you too will flit about--resting on this flower and that one--drinking the nectar of small charming towns like Salida and Leadville.  It really is possible and incredibly cheap.  It's all I can do to spend $600 a month--everything included.
At this moment a million of you out there could squirm your way out of your cocoon and lift into the air to join me on the road.  In the words of Walt Whitman:
 " Come--travel with me!  However sweet these laid up stores, however convenient this dwelling--we cannot remain here.  However calm these waters, however secure this harbor we must not anchor here.  Together the inducements shall seem greater.
We shall sail wild and pathless seas---we will go where the winds blow, waves dash and the Yankee Clipper speeds by under full sail."

22 comments:

Lorna Gusner said...

You inspire me every time I visit!

ejulie said...

Love the stories. Come visit Bailey, Colorado!

Kimbopolo said...

Such a lovely time we are having!

P.S. Agree with you about the beauty of the Arkansas.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Thanks for your posting Randy. It makes the day a lot brighter.
The people you meet, the snippets of their lives shared eases the daily grind.

Edited to add:
Profusion - the unending desire for "MORE!".
I guard against it with careful perseverance.

41dharmabum said...

Living a ritzy ritzy life is a sure sign that you're an asshole.

Touche!

Andy said...

"Living a ritzy ritzy life is a sure sign that you're an asshole."

Are you kidding, Randy ???? I'm sure there are as many assholes living your anti-ritzy ritzy life.

And...."Goddammit there are important things to be done and we need you, your creativity and your money."

Is it so easy for you to judge what others should do ? And what are you doing with your creativity and your money ? Maybe we need YOU to do more important things.

I love you, my friend, but sometimes you can be quite prejudiced and self righteous.

Randy said...

Ahhhh Andy: You give me a good laugh. It's worth writing my outrageous, judgemental opinions just to elicit a comment from you. And of course you're right. I know that I'm being outrageous---but I own my feelings---and believe my warnings to be valid---Rich people--in general sail smoothly along in their ritzy ritzy lifestyles---heedless of the growing anger from the underclass---not believing that WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and that grevious inequity will reap a violent harvest. Someday raging mobs may burn down all of those McMansions. The nation needs a bit of socialism--not a lot--just a bit to distribute the goodies of scientific advance. I live quite happily on $600 a month and I consider that a reasonable guaranteed annual income. Let's elect Bernie Sanders and bring some sanity to the situation. (and p.s. I love you too)

Alfred said...

Actually Randy, those out of state mansion owners are engaged in an income redistribution scheme (albeit unintentionally).

Building the places required a lot of local labor and lots of locally bought lumber and materials. Once built, they require plenty of upkeep which provides continuing work for folks in the area.

Better still, you should look at the humongous real estate taxes these folks pay, all of which go to schools, the fire department, libraries, you name it, all benefiting the locals.

In short, out-of-state mansion owners are an economic boon, they put tens of thousands of dollars into the local economy, and you only have to see them a few weeks a year.

——alfred

Susan Ernest said...

Dillon, Frisco, Breckenridge, Vail are all beautiful but the culture....not so much.
I much prefer Salida, Buena Vista and Pagosa Springs; although Pagosa is starting to go the way of the others. Too bad.

John Q said...


Randy you sound like an old time communist with your dislike of religion and capitalism creating wealth.
Communism is a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.
The communist ideal is noble but the the philosophy didn't work in Russia, China, or Cuba. Better to let the free markets determine wealth let the government tax their success and hope in God we Trust works.

Randy said...

Alfred: What you say is true: building those mansions did create jobs and they do generate tax revenue and it is a kind of redistribution of wealth. More precisely it's the trickle down theory at work. A far better system than feudalism and better than Communism---BUT NOT BETTER THAN NORWAY, SWEDEN AND DENMARK. (the most advanced countries in the world) They have MODERATED capitalism.
Consider Warren Buffet, who lives in a modest house and has willed his billions for the good of the world. I say he is a better man than the mcmansion owners of Dillon, Colorado. Mcmansions are status symbols---not unlike the statues of Easter Island--the mindless building of which destroyed their Island---a lesson in miniature for America about misguided values.

JohnQ--You misread me--I love and respect the power of Capitalism to deliver the good stuff.
Let me urge you to "get" the message of Picketty's book CAPITALISM: (good servant--bad master---needs tweaking by taxation)(untweaked capitalism will spread the wealth gap to intolerable levels)

Stuart said...

You do indeed lead a wonderful life. I can agree that the rich often make questionable "investments" that one can... well, question. I like art as much as the next person (no, probably more!), but I don't share your admiration for Christo and his colossal "draping" art. I think that is a questionable use of resources to just cover something up or otherwise drape it. Covering something up doesn't really do whatever it is any justice. The Arkansas River is somehow enhanced by stringing over it what looks like laundry lines or solar panels? The German Reichstag wrapped up like a dull Christmas present is art? Yes, art is very subjective.

On the subject of "a little socialism," I am a great admirer of Sweden which has by most standards a very lavish social welfare state, but also a people who are willing to pay for it. Americans are willing to accept government services but are unwilling to pay taxes for them. Bernie Sanders certainly is good at promising things, but he is not too clear on how to pay for them. He will be crushed in any general election because "socialism" is about as popular as homosexuality or atheism. Donald Trump is leading in the polls. Need I say more about America?

Randy said...

Stuart: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I'm no great admirer of Christo's art---but what the hell---it's only for 2 weeks---no serious harm done.
His supporters say the real art is the process of overcoming the roadblocks to his projects.
That is an art and is admirable--because he always faces formidable opposition.

My favorite kind of art is FLASHMOBS.

Andy said...

Actually, Randy, aside from your (and my) prejudice and self righteousness, I agree with you that our country is in danger from the ever increasing division between the haves and the have-nots.

If only most of the 99% have-nots could be like you and your happy have-not friends.....

Enjoy !

I'm going to Paris and Morocco in October for a few weeks. Will you be driving that way ? We could meet up.

Sooper Edd said...

Capitalism is NOT the economic system in place in the U.S. Far from it; it is Cronyism.

Randy said...

Sooper Ed: You are so right. What America has now is Cronyism.
Capitalist, ever seeking an advantage, soon begin to exploit the power of advantageous legislation. (like removing the restraints of the Glass steagell act forbidding banks from speculating with depositors money) (in my state of Louisiana it means imposing sugar tariffs to protect domestic sugar from cheap foreign competition)
THAT IS WHY CAPITALISM MUST BE REFEREED BY GOVERNMENT. Only an ever-watchful government can restrain the ever-agressive forces of Capitalism.
NAKED CAPITALISM IS NOT UNLIKE THE NEW ENGLAN PATRIOTS--SEEKING AN "EDGE" WITH DEFLATEGATE AND EARLIER WITH LIPREADING OPPONENTS CALLS.

RT said...

Jimmy Carter said it best ... "The United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”

It is definitely time for an attitude adjustment in this country.

Dragonfly said...

Lovely pics and as usual, interesting commentary.

Curtis Swallow said...

Randy.....I've just returned from the white mountains of new Hampshire. It was at echo lake in the franconia notch where my girlfriend, kelly, and I met a couple who are living the full time rv lifestyle.
It is something that I have dreamed of for years.
I will make this dream come true in the next few years.
I have watched your videos on YouTube and you hAve inspired me so much!
Your words have awakened something in my soul.
I wano to thank you, since sincerely. .....Curt

Curtis Swallow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Randy said...

Thank you Curtis---and welcome to the road--hope you enjoy it and profit from it as I have.
Cross paths with me and your fellow million when you can and let's celebrate together.