Saw that guy pushing a shopping cart---grabbed my camera and decided to follow him to his lair.
It wasn't easy--he moved rather swiftly---leaning on his cart and scooting along faster than I walk. (plus he had a good wind behind him)
I actually lost sight of him but found the place his cart left the pavement----a well traversed path as you can see.
There he is! I recognized the hat. I tried to talk to him--but he would not---simply pointed to a fellow vagrant nearby--I gathered he couldn't speak English.
I quickly snapped a shot of his dwelling.
Then engaged his companion--who got up from his chair with a knife in his hand. Using my poor Spanish I told him I was just checking on him. Asked if he had food and water. He relaxed---said he was ok. Asked me if I wanted him to move (vamos)--I said no: (esta bien)
Then I went back to check out a fork I noticed in the trail.
Followed it to its end point here. Wondered why.
It lead to this hole in the ground----nothing in it now. I puzzled awhile till the truth dawned on me: This is a cold weather sleeping hole---shelter from bitter winter winds.
Searched the area for other shelters. This one also likely an abandoned winter quarters.
This one still being used.
This, a fairly substantial shelter---a black tarp covered frame secured by rope.
Moved cautiously to it's entrance---said a loud hello. No response. Went to the door but did not look in.
put my camera in the entrance and took this fuzzy shot. IMAGINE MY SURPRISE A FEW MINUTES AGO WHEN I LOADED THESE SHOTS INTO MY COMPUTER AND NOTICED THAT BODY. (As in the movie "Blow Up" when a photographer discovers on developing his film he has captured the image of a body). Look carefully and you can see the person--bare armed--lying on his right side. I have no notion whether he is dead or alive---he did not answer my hello---And I'm now 50 miles away in another city. Oh well.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: This is the bottom of the city---I daresay every sizable town has a similar one. To find it--follow a vagrant. Granted it is a low order of existence---but with just a few tiny services it could upgrade to a shanty town---and I approve of shanty towns. One can live comfortably in a shanty---can design it yourself---make it cozy and serviceable. It's HUGE advantage is that it avoids rent---a major enslaver of humanity. (average American spends 47% of take home pay for housing) Every city should set aside free land for shanty towns. Portland Oregon has made a stab at it with Dignity Village. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity_Village