third goat, stranded solstice, recreation vehicles, and

Just thought this was cool (near the library in Moab).

So, now it seems that a solstice equates with a goat. Since I started with Heifer International, I’ve bought three goats (only $120 each). As I’ve said, I love their tradition of ‘Pass on the Gift.’ Running tally is 3 goats and 1 flock of chicks ($20). Next flock comes at the spring equinox.

In September, I came across another bottle of Pink while passing through Price, so I squirreled it away for my favorite holiday. I got up extra early on the solstice, bundled up and went out for a mug-walk while it was still somewhat dark. It’s so quiet and calm, with very little movement, this time of day. A Kakadu duster and Filson hat took care of the light drizzle. Looking forward to more light each day for the next six months. When I got back, I practiced zazen and called some friends. Later in the day, I went off on a hike along the bluff trail at Bottomless, continued along to the visitor center, worked my way up to the top of the bluff, and back along the top to the campground. A decent hour and a half loop. Later in the afternoon I went for a walk around the park to see if there were any RVers out to talk to. Care to guess? In the evening, with two glasses of Pink, I watched my annual viewing of ‘Pulse – A Stomp Odyssey’ (presented by Honda). Great performances.

One thing that set this winter solstice apart from others is, I was stranded. A few days ago I was pulling out of Bottomless and didn’t even make it out of the park. The fuel pump died. A flatbed took the Dodge into Roswell and the Nash was towed into a campsite. It looks like I will be here a week longer than intended since the pump needs to be ordered. Not the best time of year for shipping packages. Thankfully I have plenty of supplies. Whoopee. As I’ve said before, I’m really pleased with the Good Sam Roadside Assistance plan. The annual fee pays for 100% of the towing fee (if you already have a towing package with your insurance company, be sure it will also applies to your RV in case you break down [you don’t want it sitting there along the road]). This is the fifth time I’ve used Good Sam since I started this lifestyle, four tows and one assist (broke my lug wrench [cheap stock tool] trying to take off a seized nut on the Cherokee [roadside assistance even had to go back for a stronger tool than he had with him]). Yep, Good Sam Roadside Assistance gets my vote. Have not yet used the roadside assistance plan I have with my Blue Sky RV insurance.

Where have all the recreation vehicles gone? Now-a-days, when one thinks of recreation vehicles, they are generally referring to ATVs, boats, and dirt bikes. Vehicles specifically designated as ‘recreation vehicles,’ RVs, don’t seem to be used all that much for recreation by a good number of their owners. These people want all the comforts of home with full nightly hookups in parks and resorts. More and more of these recreation vehicles are geared towards luxury living, a veritable showcase with all kinds of amenities. Some have full size house refrigerators that run only on AC and TVs in a basement locker so they can watch TV while sitting outside their class A. Granted, there are different types of recreation, but I thought recreation refers to play. As no surprise, when I was a kid, trailers were different. They were used for camping, a form of recreation, usually out in national forests. Now these recreation vehicles have fireplaces, washer/dryers, convection ovens, 4 burner stoves, multiple A/Cs and TVs, satellite dish, back decks, multiple slide outs, and whatnot. The interiors look like designer homes. A long way from a ’55 Boles Aero. Sure glad I have a RV I can pull along dirt roads and double tracks, but then again, I’m using it for recreation. Out there off-the-grid, I have sun for power, a base for camping and hiking, and Nature for entertainment. Something I call—recreation.

I’ve been going back to the same areas for the winter months. I’m no longer surprised that others who do the same thing, know so little about the surrounding land. I take the time and effort to go exploring every chance I get. For me, hiking is a big part of my outdoor experience—to see what’s out there. Mostly by myself, I tend to get the most out of it that way and there is rarely someone around who can actually hike. There are a number of things that I enjoy doing with others but traveling between the roads is mostly a solitary thing for me. I listen to people I come across say how they love the outdoors, but they don’t go out into it. I recall Diana once commented about such people—‘…never venturing past the outdoor rug under their awning.’ They’ll never get it, nor do they care. Different strokes. I thank the gods, I chose to get past my medical problems and become active again. I’m only in my 60s; no cause for age to be a key factor.

Starting to get my winter social fix. I just wish it were with more people I could relate to. Oh well, the season is young. And, really, all it takes is a couple of people. That worked for three winters. I tend to be in a healthier mindset out there off-the-grid—body and spirit are more in tune. Maybe because it’s just simpler out there. And simple, in and of itself, is natural and fulfilling. You can probably tell, I’m already looking forward to being back out there.

We had a cold spell, and for two days, M&M didn’t want to go out. The third and fourth day, they went out for about ten minutes. This was not good; they get hyper. In the afternoons they chase each other back and forth with plenty of wrestling and tumbling. Take that OUTSIDE! It’s too COLD out there! Good grief.

I know, I know, these jpgs are from back in Utah but they sure are better than what I’ve been coming across in the parks. Although, Tom reminded me I missed out a stellar shot (if I could have gotten the lighting right). On a cold day up at Santa Rosa, I bundled up and went off on a hike along the shoreline trail. There was a freezing fog coming in off the water and the flora along the shore had a beautiful coating of frost. It didn’t even enter my mind to take a photo, even if I had my Nikon with me. I don’t usually carry it if I’m in a campground so my mind isn’t focused on possible shots. The photo ops are not generally what I look for. But then I sometimes miss a good one. Guano.

I was the only one in a laundromat early one fall morning, back in Moab, when a car pulled up with two women in it. They sat there for a bit, then one of them came in. She started talking to me and I’m thinkin’, good grief. She then hands me two pamphlets and leaves. Jehovah Witness. Yeah, I guess an older single guy in a laundromat WOULD look like a loser.

November sixty minutes sixty years—1905 minutes
November Triple 18—pecs/delts: 2490; core: 1800; legs: 2670

I have always had a dread of
becoming a passenger in life.
Margrethe of Denmark

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


klbexplores said…
I have Good Sam also, I used it once when I high-centered my truck and once when for a lock out. I agree, best service ever!!!
Anonymous said…
Ah... mysterious forces in Roswell caused you to stay there longer than planned? ;-)
At any rate, like you, I am always happy to see the Solstice arrive. Since my critters insist on getting me up at 4:30 AM no matter what, it is nice to enjoy a few more minutes/hours of sunlight!

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