Tuesday, September 13, 2016


MY STEPMOTHER ONCE ASKED ME WHAT I WOULD HAVE TO SHOW FOR ALL MY TRAVELS.  It's a fair question and deserves consideration.  Perhaps it's closely related to the question I've asked in the title: does it mean anything?  I hope to address both of them in my philosophizing section. Meanwhile, here's the sort of activity in question:

Our group moved south from Leadville settling on a mountainside overlooking Buena Vista--stayed here a pleasant 2 weeks.

Earlier, I managed to interview on film the one and only Bob Wells, founder of Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, perhaps America's foremost spokesman for the free, mobile life. When I learn where it may be seen, I will direct you to it.

From one side of the Arkansas river valley, we moved to the other--again looking down on the lovely town of Buena Vista. That's our friendly, half coyote, dog Pelado in the foreground.

We are joined by Jo in her exquisit diesel powered cab over camper.  I caught her enjoying the rooftop exit----great for stargazing too.

My mentor/blogger Kabloonie joins us for awhile.  He is camera hostile so I won't tell you which seat he occupies.

Just across the creek from us is this near-replica of Henry David Thoreau's cabin. No doubt the owner intends to enjoy the solitude that Thoreau enjoyed.  If I had met him (or her) I would have urged him to bless us with the deep wisdom of  "Walden Pond".

Eventually we moved some 25 miles south to the mountainside (Forestry road 250) above Salida and to a lovely spot found by Jeanne that I enjoyed last year.  Here's the view from my door--perhaps a thousand foot drop to the valley below. My companions parked perilously close to the edge.  A stiff wind could have tumbled them over the edge.
The famed Arkansas River.  Declared by artist Christo the most beautiful in America.  And it is the subject of his next incredible project he calls COVER THE RIVER.  Check it out here. It's mind boggling what he intends to do.

One day Barb declared both myself and CB SHAGGY--and in need of a haircut--which she promptly provided.  (the oldest of 9 children--she was made the beautician for all her siblings--and is self taught.  Did a great job) And PS:  Note that I am losing weight with a new strategy: Never get seriously hungry but seize opportune moments to exercise tiny restraints.  In a year, I expect to be 20 pounds lighter.

This turbulence is deliberately engineered for recreation such as this.  One can "play" right there till he's tired.  The backsurge of water holds kayakers and boarders in place.

Local artist do interesting things like this.

Barb installed her magic chair---wonderfully comfortable.

One day she and I hiked a portion of the Colorado trail---a terrific footpath wending its way across the mountains from Denver to Durango.
One day Kathy got a brilliant idea and started a super complex project of building a collapsible room 
on the side of her truck.  Will show the completed project when it's done.

CB bought a new bass guitar to accompany Barb.  They're sounding good.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: DOES IT MEAN ANYTHING?? ---ALL THIS TRAVEL AND PERSONAL AMUSEMENT?? Does it do us any good?? Does it do the world any good?
We could be out working---making stuff--instead of consuming stuff---serving others instead of amusing ourselves.
CB emphasizes that our carbon footprint is dramatically low for Americans. We often go a month between gasoline fillups.  Not owning a house is a big gift to the world. (there are now about a million of us housless, but not homeless,) full timers. (you're welcome America)

BUT MORE SERIOUSLY: Does this drifty travel do us personally any good? Yeah, I think it does!
I see people all the time who do not travel.  Their world is smaller than mine! To prove this dramatically to yourself, go visit the Amish or Hutterites. Living very restrictive lives they have stifled their spirits, their curiosity, their imagination.  Imagine the best of them engaging a mind like David Attenborough or Richard Dawkins. Polished minds require broad perspectives! Travel helps!

The important difference between one person and another is the complexity of their character.

For a more detailed examination of Meaning click here .


Anonymous said...

Are you juicing to lose weight?

heyduke50 said...

as my wife outs it we are trading things for experiences... what would you rather have?

Rob said...

Living "your" life on "your" terms doesn't really require justification.

Terri Reed said...

People who ask someone else "What do you have to show for (fill in the blank)?" have a different value system than you and me. I wouldn't even answer or remain in the same space with him/her. But would I answer your questions and share your space? You betcha!!

Sooper Edd said...

Easy answer Randy...nothing...and that's the point.
Our mindless pursuit of unusable wealth and trinkets are wreaking havoc on our souls, spirit and mental health; not to mention the planet. We are programmed from birth; childhood, schooling, college, marriage, work 40+ years, retirement, die. All the while to consume, consume, consume. The entire formula is never questioned.

kaBLOOnie boonster said...

Keep up the good work and the optimism. Wish you had given some examples of constructive chemical reactions between people. Perhaps it would get too personal, and it isn't right to plaster it all over the internet. That is the advantage of pseudonyms.

Maybe I like stories with a little drama in them. I like to hear about people struggling to climb. The paradigms of the "ranch" of creative hippies in the Billy Jack movie, or the happy hobo, or the cosmic loafer (aka, Walt Whitman) just don't inspire me.

I want to hear about sparks flying.

VtChris said...

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion."

- Maya Angelou

You lead by example Randy!

muddy said...

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” - Terry Pratchett

Anonymous said...

'What do you have to show' ... To show whom? The question has a presumptuous, hierarchical ring to it. So I'm not sure it deserves much consideration.

Melinda said...

Wanted to say hi, Randy. I've been reading here for a bit now, as a wannabe (I prefer gonnabe actually) mobile adventurer. Your view has always inspired me. I found your blog after reading Glenn's "To Simplify" and again recently after watching the docu "Without Bound". Taking steps to transform my own life, but continuing to be inspired and uplifted by you and others in the meantime.

Brad Maybury said...

Hi Randy! By being the change you'd like to see (Ghandi), you're inspiring others like me to live better in many ways. Keep up the great example!

Anonymous said...


The lives you and your friends lead mean a lot to me. I am always inspired, and I fully intend to join your tribe as Paul and I get our boys raised to the point where WE can leave the nest. Keep traveling and keep writing. You guys are a rare kind of bird, and your posts always make me smile.

Stephanie Elling

SD Gunner said...

I would love to accompany CB and Barb in an "off the grid" jam session someday. I have a small DW drum set I will be taking with me when I leave San Diego in the motorhome I end up purchasing. Gunner