Friday, 3 December 2010


I'VE JUST SPENT A WEEK WITH A GENIUS. (will report later) Today I'm drifting West. The difference between drifting and traveling is that the traveler can easily answer the question: Where to? In drift mode I turn my internal radar on--- scanning for anything that might interest me---having no notion where I will spend the night.Leaving Quartzsite, Az----Down this hill is the California border, The Colorado River, and Blythe, Ca----often the hottest place in the US.

Of course my radar beeps at this sight---first time I've seen the word OUTCAST used on such a sign---a powerful, emotional word. I investigate-----It's not as bad as it seems. The guy is not slumped in despondency---he's reading a book---not actively panhandling. In fact, he's in pretty good shape. Consider---he has a pretty complete "outfit"----transportation, bedding, housing, food, cooking gear and water in the trailer. It's what he doesn't have that should make you envious----THE BURDEN OF EGO. He has willingly opted out of the struggle for status and possessions, radically simplified his life, found a comfortable niche and thoroughly enjoys the inexpensive pleasures of adventure novels. Siddhartha (the Hesse novel) descended to a similar level, savoring life on the riverbank.

In town, people selling puppies let me hold this one. I almost wept with joy.

Saw this in a window---decided to go see the site.

But it's late---I'll call it a day---right here in this empty lot.

This is not the huge project--Still I want the story! 32 panels---120 watts each ---3,840 watts. Total cost $25,000--feeds surplus power into the grid--earning money---about 10% on the investment. I watched awhile as they tracked the sun till it sank---then swiveled back to morning position. It tracks horizonally and vertically---almost doubling the fixed position output.

Oh sweet people---can you see why I fell in love with the West?

Next morning I explore my area. Found a transit camp for illegals. I've seen lots of them.

Out there---about 6 miles---is the site where the world's largest (of its type) solar array will be built. Locals are excited---for the jobs---and approving in general --of the project.

I dithered a bit--then decided no!

Taylor helped me understand why I so love the desert environment: It's SPACE, AND SOLITUDE AND SILENCE (away from the interstate of course) A trinity of nourishment for the spirit.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I simply cannot imagine a better life than drifting around like this. Perhaps a partner might spice it up----we'll see!

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