Wednesday, 27 October 2010


SHE REALLY GOT AWAY FROM IT ALL --FOUND HERSELF--ENJOYS LIFE. Got hot in Phoenix---will go to the cool---out there--about a hundred miles--to the Mogollon plateau--(pronounced mug--e--ahn); 7 and 8 thousand feet elevation. RVers learn early that elevation cools at the rate of 4 degrees per thousand feet. (Phoenix is 1 thousand and thus the plateau at 7 will be 24 degrees cooler--on average) Way way out there, I have a friend who long ago went up there in her RV and never came back. I will go find her and give you a report.
There it is--the famous Mogollon rim (edge of the plateau) Zane Gray wrote up there--his novels are sited there often. My friend is up there.
From the rim looking down----aaaahhh--delightfully cool---this spot is a favorite of mine--8000 ft. Stayed two nights.
And then a chilly mist moved in---I'll go find my friend--about 80 miles further in.
Way Way out across this landscape---beyond the city of Show Low--(cute name--interesting story--will share sometimes)
And then Way Way out this gravel road--up there somewhere.
Way, way out this cinder road--hidden among these cedar trees. You are looking at the carcass of a HUGE failed development of 10 square miles and thousands of one and a quarter acre lots, now selling for a song (2-3 thousand) to folks with gumption-----you see, there is no water or sewer and spotty electricity. Perfect for RVers who really don't need either. (in large amounts) folks with gumption come here and thrive---others scurry away.
I discovered that she lives at the end of this trail.
In this cute and efficient house which she designed and largely engineered herself. Water is precious here--she catches what the rains provide. (the amount collected from this roof will surprise you--the formula is .67 gallons per sq ft in a 1 inch rainfall--that amounts to about 300 gallons from this roof in a 1 inch rain.
Here's the front view--note the many windows. Ah but dear readers--prepare yourself for a wonderful surprise---inside is a delightful secret---and to my mind a useful life lesson---I was moved to poetry. I ask you to judge for yourself.
Can you see what she's done? Built her house around her trailer. She sleeps, cooks and bathes in it. Here's the story in rhyme.

Taylor woke one day with an urge to settle
here on the mogollon rim;
A clear certain call from her deep intuition;
not just some idle whim.
Nurtured by her friends and neighbors
she parked her trusty trailer
and stayed all winter long---
damn near freezing Taylor!
Came summer heat and scorching sun
damn near baking Taylor;
So she built a shading roof
above her little trailer.
When winter winds came again
she built a shielding wall
all around the 5th wheel trailer
before the first snow fall.
So now now the trailer's all hemmed in,
Its porch is the living room.
She had a house within a house,
but enclosure brought dark gloom.
So big windows went in that spring
to let the outdoors in.
Now no fairy has a brighter home;
no bear a cozier den.
So the faithful trailer is ensconsed
as core and foundation of a home;
still essential and useful--though
not likely again to roam.
How different is Taylor's way from those
who mire themselves in debt;
paying and paying for 30 years
and they're not homeowners yet.
What really makes Taylor's house unique
is that it rose by evolution.
The old was never cast aside----
just tweaked for new solutions.
God and Taylor chose the same technique
of how to problem solve:
beginning always with what they had--
then to slowly evolve
That's how monkey rose to man:
how microbe became mouse.
We tweak our way to bigger souls
like Taylor built her house.
Meet Taylor---a long time friend and an inspiration. In a long conversation, I asked what you would have asked: What's it like to live alone in the wilderness?--what does it do to your head? ---and heart? Her answers dazzled me! I will share with you a few of her insights.
1. She felt "led" to this spot---invited! Almost instantly desiring to settle here.
2. The sparcity of High desert makes everything an "event"---a flower--an elk---and the nights are stunning. Is in love with big sky, space, sun, quiet!
3. She feels blessed---comfortable---letting life "happen" to her.
4. Moving forward by gently pushing on doors! Some open--She enters--some don't--she moves on.
4. Most are afraid of the quiet--because it strips us of our identity markers.
5. I should not be you! I should work very very hard to be me.
6. Lots of people have the urge for this--- finding a lifestyle that fits their personality---but don't know how to achieve it.
7. The kind of loneliness she feels is the desire to be known.
8. Would like a mate--to know and be known-but realistically assesses the "compound probability". (nice phrase)
9. Personal space requires some protection---not always easy to do tactfully.
10. Living is investment---she chooses to invest in experiences rather than Wall street. The dividend that experiences pay is character. Business is a distraction.
11. "Stuff" does not enduringly entrance----is often nice but not necessary.
12. Happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have.
13. Says of herself that she is an Introvert--is intuitive and senses oriented.
And much much more. We read together what Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet) had to say about houses. (much recommended reading)
A wonderful interview as you can imagine---I went away with much to think about.

UPDATE!!! 10/24/11---Taylor has decided to sell her cozy estate---(now has electric, septic, internet)the whole shebang--trailer, house, land (2and1/2 acres) and all---to go do something else.  She, like Thoreau---"leaves for as good a reason as she came"--she has many more lives to lead and cannot spare any more time for this one.  If you might be interested e-mail her at
(asking $35,000---will carry a contract)

UPDATE 10/31/11--- Taylor has advised that she has received an acceptable offer and will vacate her little shangralai in two weeks.

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