learning curves, Evangeline, and shadows

I could go with this for a while. I think I got this jpg from Spotted Dog Ranch (http://spotted-dog-ranch.blogspot.com/). Could be wrong.

Every once in a while I come across an individual or couple just starting out full-timing. I think of my first year and being at the bottom of the learning curve. There will be quite a few mistakes, but also a lot of learning (well, if one is open to learning). If one is just going the standard RV-route, it’s all pretty easy. If one is leaning towards the hard-wall camping route, advice from RVers is not necessarily going to work. Always stop and think, question and assess whatever you hear, and even with things you come up with on your own.
I’ve been slowly working my way through the photos I’ve taken since starting this lifestyle, recalling the memories, and it is sure worth sticking with it and working through the curve.

I remember starting at the bottom of a learning curve back in the 70s—sailing. First off I read a lot about it. I subscribed to Sail, Wooden Boat, Cruising World, and later, Small Boat Journal. I also read many cruising books by: Susan and Eric Hiscock, Sir Francis Chichester, Robin Knox-Johnston, Chay Blyth, Lin & Larry Pardey, Robin Lee Graham, and Joshua Slocum—doing the old armchair cruising. Rounding out this aspect of sailing with Bowditch, Chapman, Heavy Weather Sailing by K. Adlard Coles, and Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Blewitt. Along the way, I got around to actually learning how to sail. I also started to read books about boat building. Then at one point, with my tools, carpentry skills, and books, I bought my first wooden boat—a 30 or 32’ sloop with a canoe stern. I came across it sitting up on blocks in a boatyard. I know, I know, buying a boat not sitting in the water can be a BIG mistake. Anyway, I went right to the bottom of another learning curve. All kinds of people, old salts to first-year sailors, stop by if they see you working on a wooden boat, and give you quite a range of advice from good to poor. Similar to starting out full-timing. I finally finished work on the sloop, moved aboard and started doing some cruising. I didn’t get far. Someone offered me quite a bit more money for the boat than I had put into it. About the same time I came across another old boat—sound, but needing a lot of work (and it was sitting in a slip!). Bought it, fixed it up, moved aboard, sold the first boat and just kept doing this for a couple years. Never did take off down the east coast. Worked through that particular learning curve, got into something else, and went right to the bottom of a new learning curve. It almost feels as if life is climbing over an endless range of mountains. Hiking uphill through the leaning curve. After the necessary knowledge and skills are mastered, one can enjoy time along the ridgeline and downhill slope. Then it’s working through the next uphill leaning curve—over and over and over again. Hmm. Thank the gods it’s rewarding and enjoyable.

Even now, having lived the hard-wall camping thing for a few years, I still, from time to time, learn something new or tweak the way I’ve been doing something. An old lady (that might get me shot), said that you’re not dead until you stop learning.

This lifestyle seems to be good for me. In the past, whenever I got into a funk, it could last a couple weeks or more. I still get down from time to time, but it’s only for a day or two. Maybe I’m just feeling better about myself. Anyway, it’s progress. La vida es buena.

I met Leslie and Rob one day at CoR; they were coming back from hiking the mesa. They are both artists from California. Just passing through here on their way home, from a show in Florida.
Their website (hiddenspringdesigns.com) had this to say about the medium they use:

‘We are dedicated to using sustainable materials in our work whenever possible. We use expanded polystyrene (made from recycled styrofoam) and fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, in our concrete. By redirecting these products into our work, we keep them locked up in a beautiful piece of art or furniture and out of the landfill. By using fly ash we also reduce our carbon footprint because it reduces the amount of cement we use, and cement uses more energy to produce.
The woods we use are usually recycled from demolished buildings or salvaged street or orchard trees; the rest is certified sustainably grown and harvested.
We have recently started using a soy-based concrete stain, and we are always looking for other environmentally friendly products.’ Sounds pretty good.

I went back to Oliver Lee SP and took a decent site without hookups. Went for a number of hikes up to the cabin. One day I thought I’d hike up the creek bed to the cabin and loop back along the hiking trail. No can do. About fifty minutes up the creek bed is a boulder that takes some work to get over. Then five minutes later is a 20’ wall I couldn’t see any way to get up so I turned around. I figured if I tried climbing the wall, I might end up using my PLB for the first. It’s not something I ever want to use.

Susan was at Oliver Lee also so we went for a hike, some walks, biked down to the Oliver Lee house for the tour, and had another nice evening around a small pan fire; this time listening to Vivaldi.
We then ended up at Bottomless for a few days. Another couple of hikes, a couple of meals, and a bottle of Pink. Sure enjoyed this lady’s company. Now Susan is up in Colorado and will be taking a class next month up in Montana. Sure hope the gods offer another favorable roll of the dice.

I regressed to an electric site at Bottomless. I was looking forward to the park’s wi-fi and wanted a site near the unit. But it was pretty much worthless. At least the showers were way better than at Oliver Lee.

I came across Glenda and Jeff again at Bottomless. I met them at CoR a year or two ago. They are full-timing in a Casita. It was good touching base again. I walked over to the other campground one morning to talk some more but they apparently went for a town run. I read their blog from time to time to see what they’re up to (CasitaEscapes.blogspot.com). It’s still cold in the mountains so I’m dragging my feet about getting up to northern New Mexico. Hope I find some good spots this summer. Have GOT TO get out of these campgrounds. I’m next heading to the Cibola National Forest for some disperse camping. I was there once before, but I’m going to check out a different area.

This is the girl I sponsored through Children International. Evangeline is 6 in the first photo when I started with her. Now she is 16 and graduated from school. She tried for further education but hasn’t been accepted as of yet. She lived in Quezon City in the Philippines. I think I’ve mentioned, I was thinking about stopping the sponsorship. First off, Evangeline is out of school now. Secondly, I feel Children International wastes way too much money and little seems to go towards actually helping the child. Well, now I won’t have any qualm about it. Evangeline recently moved out of the area which Children International covers, so it’s no longer an issue. I’ll see what World Vision has to offer for sponsoring a new child.

Well, after spending $120, I walked out of the Silver City food co-op with 3 tote bags full of items from their bulk bins. As I’ve said, I only come across maybe three natural food stores a year, so I tend to stock up. I should be set for the next few months. It all fit into two 5gal buckets, which I sealed with watertight lids.

Remember making hand shadow puppets of animals on a wall when you were a kid? Well, shadows have come a long way. If you are not familiar with the shadow theater group, Attraction, you have GOT TO go to the following site and check out the video. Sad but absolutely beautiful.


April Olio— mumbly peg

I was the sailing instructor at a 7-week camp in Lake Placid for two summers. The campers were issued a pocketknife along with a lesson in the safe use of it. Mumbly peg was a tradition at the camp.

Also known as: mumble peg(s), mumblepeg, mumblety peg(s), mumble-the-peg, mumbledepeg and mumble de peg (good grief, this is sounding like a joke). Boys used to carry a jack knife in their pocket. So it was only natural for a skill game to develop from this. There are different versions of the game. There’s even one listed in the ‘American Boy’s Book of Sport’ from 1896. One has to perform 24 different trick tosses correctly to win the game. Schoolboys played it out at recess. Yeah, like THAT would fly now-a-days.

March sixty minutes sixty years—2785 minutes
March Triple 18—pecs/delts: 2285; core: 2060; legs: 6300

Don’t die until you’re dead.

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


Emily said…
Missed your posting of a couple days ago. Had a chance to meet Glenda & Jeff in person awhile back when they were at a state park south of here. Quite a couple. Stay safe.
Anonymous said…
Hey, I never knew about your boat renovating career! Sounds very cool. Do you have any old photos?
Tom said…
Hope you're ok. Been looking forward to another post for weeks... :)

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