Showing posts from 2010


I had the misfortune of spending a few days in a campground this past summer. I wanted to stay in an area but it was all primarily private land. Guano. After a day I probably knew the names of all the dogs and children in the nearby sites with having met only a few. Unreal. Since I enjoy isolated camping out on public land so much, it really seems strange to me that I don’t seem to mind campgrounds during the winter months—until this year. I’m having trouble adjusting to the confinement of a campground and the rules. I’ve been feeling boxed in and I have to be more concerned about M&M when we are around campers and RVers. Even my activities are limited. Might need to come up with something else for the winters. These transient communities aren’t really my thing. But then there’s the wimp factor—I appreciate having access to indoor hot showers in the winter (although they are not really all that hot). The sun-shower bag has been working fine for me eight months out of the year. B

tucked away in the mountains
with felines and birds

Maybe it comes from living alone with two felines, but I often find myself verbalizing my thanks when I’m out hiking and come across a stellar scene, the song of a bird, a strong scent, or a stream where I can cool off. I’ll pass on relating the things I say but you might want to try it. It also brings me back to the present if I’m off daydreaming. Can’t quite bring myself to do it yet, if I’m hiking with a friend. A few think I’m strange enough as it is. But then stopping to think for a minute, a few of my friends are pretty strange and probably no doubt wonder why I’m not doing so. The earth can seem fragile and I truly believe that we are trashing it with the all too prevalent screw-the-grandchildren mindset. We are here for such a short span of time and it absolutely rots how we are destroying it. We’ve done more damage in the last hundred years than in all previous years combined. Maybe one reason I like to get so far off the asphalt is that occasionally I get to feel oth

designs by owen

Bisbee is a strange town to have a business. One needs to be on the first block of Main Street. If not, at least be on the next half block and, most definitely, on the north side of the street. My friend David, moved his gallery to a stellar location. It’s hard for me to believe but I think the new shop looks even better than the last one. After living in Bisbee and going back each spring to visit, I’d say it is probably the best looking gallery in Bisbee with fabulous artwork. The lighting and overall setup shows real class. One will definitely feel that they just stepped up into another level of store when they enter Design by Owen. NICELY DONE, David! Happiness is self-contentedness. Aristotle RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’ FOR INDEX OF POSTINGS GO TO JULY 2006

chama to moab

I sure was spoiled for most of the summer with more or less regular web access. Now it’s back to my normal lifestyle with access whenever I have to run into a town for supplies. I looked into taking the following position outside of Sedona, AZ. I knew it would be hot there but when I looked up the monthly average highs for the year—I said forget it. Besides I took the A/C off the casita. The owners are a couple of stellar artists. “WE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO CARE FOR OUR PROPERTY.
 upkeep on low maintenance holding with house and 
outbuildings in exchange for living space. 
watering of 4 fruit trees and
 some outdoor plants that are left and right of the
 and what ever upkeep necessary relating to the
 structures, all 
new and in good condition.
 This p

learning to fly—part two
starting to get past the crashing

Since the lost plane fiasco, I downloaded a number of articles on learning to fly electric RC planes as well as J. Carpenter’s eBook ‘Beginner’s Guide to flying RC airplanes’. $250 late but hey… I get to chapter 13 (!) titled, ‘Crashing’ and it starts off, ‘Crashing is all part of the hobby of radio control flying…’. I seem to recall James also alluding to this. Not exactly the best incentive to get one into the hobby. James stopped by for a couple days on his way back to Rodeo. The first shot is him bringing my Radian in for a landing. Like I stated in the last flying entry, he’s an ace. But—he has not had a good summer. I didn’t see the Multiplex Easy Glider Pro he was flying when I first met him. I asked him about it—it got destroyed. I asked him about his Radian—he’s waiting for parts. The wings loosen up over time and he had masking tape wrapped around to ends to snug up the fit. Apparently not enough. On one flight—the wings fell off. He said it was pretty cool how they fl

little beaver pow-wow, paige bridges art,
this and that, and cherishing each day

Some locals took me to the Little Beaver Pow-wow over in Dulce. Oh man, VERY impressive. The Grand Entrance when all the dancers came into the arena was absolutely fabulous. The mother/daughter competition was great. The styles varied quite a bit and I had no idea what the criteria was for each round of elimination. Thoroughly enjoyed everything I saw that evening. When in my 5th wheel, I had a number of vintage travel trailer prints by Paige Bridges. She does absolutely stellar work. When I scaled down to my casita I had to acquire all new prints since the ones I had were too large. I have emailed Paige a few times over the years and she’s a wonderful person. Check out this youtube clip about her. Also check out her site. Keep her boxes of Christmas cards in mind as the season approaches. I took this shot out the back window one morning. With this lifestyle, one should look out the windows each morning before making any noise or turning on lights. Sometimes wildlife is pret

don't sit on your ticket

Most mornings as it is getting light I hear the elk calling as they work their way out of the woods into the meadows. After it is light I go out and generally see something like this. Way cool. Robert Fulghum tells this story of an airport encounter. ‘Out of one person’s moment of comic despair has come perspective for all’. He presents it as a letter. “Dear Fellow Pilgrim, "There you were, Hong Kong airport, end of the summer of 1984, tensely occupying a chair next to mine. Everything about you said ‘Young American Traveler Going Home.’ You had by then exchanged jeans and T-shirt for sarong and sandals. Sensible short hair had given way to hair long and loose. The backpack beside you bore the scars and dirt of some hard traveling, and it bulged with mysterious souvenirs of seeing the world. Lucky kid, I thought. “When the tears began to drip from your chin, I imagined some lost love or the sorrow of giving up adventure for college classes. But when you began

house sitting in cañones valley

House sitting here is excellent. The first shot is looking west towards the house and greenhouse and then a shot past the greenhouse facing east. Not bad. The third photo is past where I’ve got the casita set up. Early each morning I go into the house and feed the dogs. Every other morning, after yerba mate, I mountain bike up the dirt road two miles, stash the bike in the brush and go off on a run up the mountain for a couple hours. Heaven must be like this. If I don’t come across any elk, at least I see plenty of deer. After breakfast I go out to the greenhouse to water the plants, weed and check out what I will have for lunch. Pat brews beer so there are a slew of hop plants to water once a week. Ate all the rhubarb but it was at the end of the growing cycle. Guano. Wish I knew how to bake a pie. Sometimes in the morning but at least every evening, I take the dogs for a walk. Other chores are mowing and trimming the grass and watering the indoor and patio plants, watering an

learning to fly

Initially I was climbing up to the barn roof and jumping off. It wasn’t working. I had no problem with take off and flying to a lower elevation. Gaining altitude, sustained flight, and landing, however, were somewhat problematic. So I started to learn to fly a Radian electric sailplane. That also did not work well. These first two shots are of a friend flying his Radian. Never a problem. The third shot is of my sailplane just prior to the first flight. The fourth photo was taken a minute later. I gathered the scattered pieces so they all fit in the shot. The next day after using Gorilla glue to fix the fuselage, I crashed again in even less time, again breaking the fuselage in two. I was having SO much fun. This time I put the fuselage together with 5-minute epoxy even though the Gorilla glue worked fine. Remember James, from Rodeo, who got me interested in electric sailplanes while down in the Gila Mtns? Well, he was going to be passing through Chama on his way to Col

camping spots heading north, breakdown,
and seeing the house

Didn’t like working my way up through central NM much. Luckily rt1 parallels I-25 so I didn’t have to do the interstate. Turned off rt1 onto FR 225 into the San Mateo Mountains for a couple days. Six slow miles of washboard to a decent camping spot if one likes open areas. This time of year it was too hot and too windy to roll out the awning. One day we went for a walk down in a wash. Then I moved on to a night at Valley of Fires. I had heard good things about it and had been driving for 100 miles so was ready to stop for the day. Really don’t like these asphalt miles. I know, I know, I actually paid for a camping spot ($12) in warm weather. Hopefully it won’t happen again until November. The gods made sure I didn’t overly enjoy it. Took a site down a cul-de-sac so I could let M/O out. There was no one around anyway, the RVs were all at the electric sites. There was only a mile of trails but they have an informative nature walk, paved for wheelchairs, that’s definitely worth check

change of plans, creek coffee and wine,
codgerspace, and sirius

Sometimes I don’t stop and think. I eventually realized that I could not take the route I had planned north this spring, at least the first 150 miles of it. I was planning to take 5 or 6 weeks to hike the area and the route didn’t take me near any decent grocery stores. For one thing, I would need a cooler to supplement my fridge. I don’t presently have the room for one. There would have also been the additional bulk and pounds of dry supplies. And then there’s water. A week’s supply weighs 112 lbs (2gal/day at 8lbs/gal – water’s a pound a pint). My rig is already overloaded. The Cherokee already gets into the edge of the red zone on mountain grades—not a good thing. Weekly water runs with the Jeep wouldn’t have been a problem and I can get a month out of two 5 gal propane tanks so I wouldn’t be looking for propane. Looks like I might break down next winter and look for used 8 cylinder for more power and a design with more carrying capacity so I can stay off the grid for longer perio

trippin’ and fallin’, solitude, sacaton, sailplane,
and expenses

The first trailhead I camped near was off rt180 on FR196. Had to camp nearly a mile and a half away, however. Really did not need all that warm-up and cool-down hiking between the camping spot and trailhead. It didn’t get any better. I lost track of how many times the trail crossed the stream. Nowhere could I just jump across it since the water was high from the runoff. I had to step from rock to rock and managed to slip only once, thanks to my trusty PVC staff. Years ago, they used to mine up this canyon so whenever I saw an old mine up in the rocks, I climbed up to take a look. Even being careful while off the trail, I fell three times. I used to be able to feel myself falling and make an effort to catch myself. That seems to be a thing of the past. Two of these falls had me down on the ground before I realized I tripped. Not good—ended up with free-flowing leg and thumb cuts. I swear I’m going to die on a hike. Maybe I should start sticking just to the trails. All-in-all a n