Thursday, 4 November 2010


MY NOTION OF THE HEROIC LIFE IS LIVING BY ONES OWN HIGHEST INTUITION. So while I'm here, I will go searching for more examples of such persons. Perhaps the bushes abound with Thoreau-like personalities. I settle myself with another guest on the lot belonging to Carol--a long time friend.
Here she is outside her now-permanently-parked-and winterized home. Note the all-important skirting to keep fierce winter winds out. Of the 20 or so of my friends and acquaintances that have settled here--she is considered "the Mayor" for her knowledge and dedication to building a community spirit.
She loves her home and is superbly comfortable here. Windows all round look out on grandeur and serenity. (the White mountains in particular) Birds chirp and feed,unafraid, just outside her window. Because she's lived here many years now--I asked the obvious question--what has this lifestyle--this place done for you? Easy question for her---without hesitation she says: "My proudest achievement is my emotional health!" I could feel the truth of her answer--she is indeed composed, clear spoken and confident.

She takes me on a brief tour of her "community". This is the cabin that John built--with no pattern or design other than that in his head. Seems he got a great buy on a large pile of those timbers --brought them home and THEN considered what to do with them---began to stack them like leggo pieces---till this structure eventually took shape.
Carol takes us around front to rouse John for a tour. That's his Airstream there--where he cooks, eats and sleeps. So what's the Cabin for? Glad you asked.
I'll show you after you've met his pets---two adorable alpacas.
Meet John--also a long time friend--who came up to the high country and never came down. The cabin is a kind of entertainment center, den and library. On the far wall are a thousand good books but his eyes are now focused on his latest purchase---An entire menangerie of........
mounted animals. Yes, that's a real buffalo head and full-body mountain lion. John has seemingly discovered the entrepeneur inside himself---buying and selling all sorts of stuff at a nearby flea market.
Meet Pete: Another long time friend who came up here and established a base. Pete is the go-to guy for hundreds of his friends in all matters mechanical or electrical. Here, he is inventing a push button solar panel raiser.
A look inside his container. Almost everyone up here sooner or later forks out the $3000 for a delivered steel container using them as workshop, storage, etc. Pete has a 500 gallon water tank atop his.
Ah but here is the real proof of his genius---no doubt the best "tweaked" rig in history. It's electronics and mechanics are worthy of a separate blog. You cannot see his array of solar panels or the stored power in his battery pack--or his tools. Sufficice it to say, he sometimes shows theatre style movies for the group on the side of his rig--and has enough electrical power to weld metal.
And this is one of his cleverest ideas---and most useful. I'm not permitted to tell you precisely what for---but maybe you can guess. It is a brilliant joke that perhaps only full time RVers will get. It seems to be the buriel place of a dog named "Old Blue Boy." Which is the only clue I'm allowed to divulge.
More of the high desert "colony" gathered for dinner at the Show Low Elks Lodge. Does it surprise you that a majority of these lifestyle heroes are women. Each has a rig and a place to park it and lives alone. They get together just often enough to scratch the social itch and stay apart enough to enjoy privacy and solitude. In a unlikely environment --a bushy high desert--they have parked their RV's to create home and community.

RANDY PHILOPHIZES: Pathfinders and "first-doers" render big service to the rest of us---inspiring us to also step out. I'm deeply grateful to the trailblazers that inspired me to also take a step in the direction of my dreams. First and foremost---HENRY DAVID THOREAU---who defied the ethos of a whole work-obsessed nation to live in a tiny cabin by a pond---possess minimally---work only enough to eat---adventure widely---look inwardly---think deeply--and by so doing bless the world with his insights and example. His was no life of sacrifice but a dilligent quest for personal happiness. He has proved---almost beyond dispute--that the best thing we can do for the world is follow our bliss---BE HAPPY.

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