Wednesday, October 26, 2016


AFTER SANTA FE, OUR LITTLE BAND DECIDED TO SCATTER FOR AWHILE----being mindful of Thoreau's advice that a reason to gather is to share experiences and a reason to part is to get new experiences to share.

Before I report on our scatter, I want to introduce you to some couchsurfers that visited us in Santa Fe.

Meet Paul--bicyclist with a question.  Travels the entire US at an average pace of 35 miles per day, relying on the kindness of strangers for his lodging---and everywhere he ask the same question:
How will we live tomorrow?  He records answers and will compile the best into a book at journey's end.  I told him that no one could imagine how wonderful our future lives will be.  As evidence of this, consider that a cave dweller of old could not possibly imagine the wonders we enjoy today.
Meet Lisa from Germany---whose size and gentle manner belies the awesome boldness of her travel accomplishments and ambitions.  She will finish the US and do South America and then New Zeland.

And here's a few more on a morning where we hosted a veritable flock of vagabonds.
This is a CB project for which we are all grateful---bringing world wide travelers into our lives.
And before I hit the road---Barb does a concert for us.

And as though to wish us all happy trails--God blesses us with a rainbow--the best one I've ever seen.

Right away, I start having adventures.  At the first intersection I encounter this classic Rolls Royce worth a million dollars.
I made my way South to Socorro, NM and met this (seemingly happy) trio.  How kind to give each of them a window into the real world.
And I met Willow--a truly well adjusted man.  He has lived 20 years in that tiny trailer with his dog Bimbo.  He makes one of a kind walking sticks like this one and sells them for $50 to $75.  He ranges between Montana and Tucson----has a unique travel strategy. "I never travel until the wind is behind me."  He estimates he has saved thousands by not fighting headwinds.  (what a great philosophy of life also)
Nearby is the Bosque del Apache wildlife sanctuary--I parked just outside the entrance and spent the night.  

Had I been camped here 16 July 1945 I would have witnessed one of the great events in human history. Just 25 miles directly behind that pole is the spot where the first atomic explosion occurred.

Here is a piece of that explosion---part of a massive steel shell with walls 18 inches thick placed at the site to test its force.  The 100 ton thing was shattered into pieces like this.
Meet Chris Leeser, Ranger at refuge headquarters who took time to answer my questions.  I wanter to know how this great project got funded in the 30's when our consciousness was perhaps not so sensitive to the need for preservation.  The answer:  Duck hunter fees bought the land and continues to  fund it's upkeep.  FDR made the legal decision. 
I borrowed this photo--but if you go there you might take one like it.

While in Socorro I ate with the senior citizens.  Most towns have a center for them and they are well attended.  My friend Bushrod explained that these and a host of other services the government now provides are an "underground" form of socialism slowly making its way into our lives and consciousness.  I agree and approve.

I forgot to mention that Bushrod took me to a very unusual seminar--on homelessness!  About a 100 homeless folks showed up and discussed various aspects---like community resources, dealing with the police, begging etc.  I shocked the whole assembly by declaring that I was happily homeless, living very cheaply,  wandering the country enjoying life, with no desire for a permanent place.
I stunned them with a quote from Thoreau: "the cause of most wretchedness is not so much a lack of money as a lack of imagination."

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Our group as spent the past 8 months together and it has been splendid.
I feel more polished in my manners ---ready to go on a solitary drift and let the world speak to me.
Next, I'll report on one of America's scenic highways--hwy 60 across New Mexico and Arizona.


Kimbopolo said...

I'm sure you did some polishing too!
What interesting folks! Look forward to seeing more.

Rob said...

I wonder if the present senior citizen centers will continue past the baby boomers?

kaBLOOnie boonster said...

Glad to see you brag up bicycle touring. I think you would have been a great bicycle tourer. Go to the website (Crazy Guy on a Bike) and look at the blogs. Nothing but trivial how-to stuff, descriptions of how miles they did today, and photographs of what they ate that night.

You would have looked for personal encounters, gotten "the story", and tried to find MEANING in the encounter.

Ah well, just promise me that in your next life, you will be a bicycle tourer/adventurer.

Anonymous said...

I wonder, at the homelessness seminar, did you get any response to your talk?


Judith Dennis said...

Was this bicyclist from France? I had a fellow looks very similar to him stop at our B&B in Piedmont, Ohio was traveling from San Francisco to New York and was from France.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about that steel vessel piece. The giant steel vessel was made to contain the uranium in the first atomic test, should the bomb be a dud. Because the bomb-grade uranium was so incredibly expensive. As the Manhattan Project moved to the first atomic test, they got very confident that the bomb would work. Also, they got much better at uranium production. So the steel vessel was not used in an atomic test.

It was used later in a dummy test with the same amount of high explosive as the first atomic test. The vessel failed and was blown to bits.

Randy said...

Judith: I'm confident the bicyclist was American.
Anonymous: Thank you for the clarification on that lump of steel. You may already know that it is on display in Socorro's town square.
Anonymous: Re the homeless comment I made: I sensed approval--the moderator congratulated me
verbally. Then the pity party continued.

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Anonymous said...

Wonderful Post Randy, you made my day.

Terri Reed said...

More please!

Jim said...

ROB: "I wonder if the present senior citizen centers will continue past the baby boomers?"
The Millenials already outnumber the Boomers and the Generation Xers aren't far behind. There will be plenty of demand for senior centers into the foreseeable future. My Mom volunteers at her local center in Shelton, WA and she turns 80 next month! Her and her husband also do bible study every Monday night in their home and the widows are all invited to come early and have dinner together. We've shared a couple of meals with these gals -- a pretty lively bunch!

Sundeep said...

Loved the quote from the cane maker about traveling with tailwinds. Not sure it's 100% the best thin to do as you have to sometimes swim against the current to get to where you need to go, but it's still an interesting way to think,miso thank you for fishing that out of him and consequently sharing it with us.

Melanie Kovero said...

Enjoying very much reading about your refreshing. Thankyou.

Bernt Out said...

Being from New Mexico I tend to stay close to"home"....the South West when not working.
I have a close friend building a life off the grid near Datil and know the area well. Favorite place to hang out is the Apache Wilderness/White Mountains a little west of Datil in Arizona. Good fishing at Reservation lake and small crowds!

I love your blog Randy!