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One Year On The Road

Lots of motion, but joy is fleeting and meaning remains elusive

Time away from Trump insanity in the desert, mountains, and woods

Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado - 10,600 feet (3/27/18)

Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado – 10,600 feet (3/27/18)

Today marks one year on the road in our epic tour, so thought I’d catch up and post some more western photos of places where we wintered (I still haven’t posted on the southern states we saw last fall, hope to soon).

Our last ramble in leaving the west was through aptly named – Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado, 10,600 feet. Light snow made for spectacular short hikes in San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests, especially after 4 months in the desert.

I’m on the east coast now, but the extremes seem to follow. Last night, in Carrboro, a cool little town just outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina, we again experienced climate change charged extreme weather – strong thunderstorms, high winds, heavy rain, and a tornado killed a man in nearby Greensboro.

We’ve experienced extreme weather everywhere we’ve been – from Acadia in Maine to the deserts of Yuma. From Cape Flattery Washington to Amelia Island Florida, and all points in between.

We spent most of the winter in south-eastern Arizona, around Bisbee and the  Coronado National Forest.


Spent some time in Tucson – the book festival was superb. But is that a peace sign or a big middle finger (Saguaro National Park)


But I had an itch to see Yuma. Not sure why, maybe after Coronado and Montezuma’s pass, I was thinking of Neil Young’s best song ever “Cortez the Killler” from the Zuma album:


Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

They carried them
To the flatlands
And they died along the way
But they built up
With their bare hands
What we still can’t do today.

And I know she’s living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can’t remember when
Or how I lost my way.

So we headed west. But Yuma was nothing like Zuma. It was the worst place we experienced.

The “city” was one big RV ghetto and sprawling new construction, despite water deficits with current overpopulation and severe drought already. Local insanity. The “historic district” had an artificial feel with many retail crap joints vacant. The library was located on a nice 3 acre of so treed lot, but had a Ten Commandments tablet prominently displayed – where is the ACLU? – and a large homeless population. The library itself sucked and had unusably slow WiFi.

We headed north and camped in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge:


But even there, a short walk revealed how fracked up even remote places are:


When the Arizona deserts hit 90 degrees, we decided to move on to cooler climes. But the Rocky Mountains to the north were way too cold and there was still risks of heavy snow in the Sierra’s, so, where to go?

We headed north up along the Colorado river and almost lost Bouy to the strong river current created by Parker Dam releases:


We saw more RV ghettos and lots of desert campers, and then headed east to return to Coconino National Forest just outside Flagstaff. But we froze our butts off and moved on after a few cold nights.


The van broke down in Colorado (oxygen sensor) – which led to a wonderful experience in Alamoso, where we meet a great guy who welded – Kent’s Exhaust Shop. Kent is an artist and expert welder/mechanic and an honest man. Charged me only $30 for a job the local Chevy dealer was asking about $200 for, plus at least $100 for the sensor, which I bought at parts store for $50 (but it all ended up no charge, after 2 hours work, because they stripped the sensor’s thread, which is why I had to visit Kent the welder). Kent has an old ’41 school bus restored (his dad rode in in HS!) and lots of cool welded art in front of his shop. Great conversationist too.

As we got further east, I seemed to get sucked into and spend more time on the NJ environmental policy wars and have posted several critiques recently. Maybe because the weather was cool and I spent more time in the library instead of the woods.

We’re in a great place right now – I finally am getting a good real meal at the local food co-op, the library is spectacular, and the parks and nearby forests are great places for me and Bouy to ramble. Maybe heading north when spring arrives to the northeast.

Reflecting on the year on the road, I think I picked a good time to go, given the Trump insanity, which is crushing almost everything I believe in, care about, and have worked for. Time away from all that in the desert, mountains and woods is probably the best way for me to manage.

Peace out!


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