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Header Photo: Just an average hike on an average day in Red Canyon Country.



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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kite Tails, and RV's At The Ends Of Rainbows (revised)


At birth, we emerge from dream soup.
At death, we sink back into dream soup.
In between soups, there is a crossing of dry land.
Life is a portage.  
(Jitterbug Perfume)


Living your life is like a circus act; its never been done before... and guess what? there is a live audience. You may not be famous, or have a blog or think you are watchable, but yes, "someone" is watching little ole you... how you conduct yourself, the decisions you make, how you handle potholes, pitfalls and setbacks, and, if fortunate, "success." The "success" I speak of has nothing to do with money; some of the most successful people I know live paycheck to paycheck. 


What Are Friends For?
We were taken out to dinner last night by a couple of longtime friends from Montrose, a belated anniversary gift as well as an excuse to catch up on each other's lives. We had a delightful meal and conversation at The Ore House Restaurant here in Lovely Ouray, dinning al fresco under a big red umbrella that shed come and go drops of rain and cast rosy complexions to our cheeks. I guess it could have been the alcohol; I'll let you decide. 


The male of our "couple" friends is recently retired and contemplating the purchase of an RV for camping and travel. They had questions for "the experts," a couple of diehard "leavers" that have been dabbling in the art of escape since the inception of our friendship. I had to chuckle and suggested they may not want to follow in our footsteps, trial and error-ing away a lot of hard earned money and still falling short of the perfect rig. We are not exactly what you would call the poster-couple for RV frugality (sigh).


A Fork In The Road Less Traveled
So now do I bore you with our discussion of RV minutia, the ad nauseam of type, weight, advantages/disadvantages of this and that... Fiver or Trailer? Or, do I share the more philosophical highlights regarding RV life and filling time-holes left in the wake of sudden retirement. I should just take you on a hike we did yesterday, wouldn't that be more interesting? Probably not. There has been a rut of hike-posts lately and I fear the audience is weary of following Bobbie's butt up yet another mountain that, to some, all look the same.  Since we got off to a philosophical start, let's stay on that blue highway and see what's over there.


RV Idealism
Meet Gimme, the naive and selfish little boy who dwells inside me. He easily tires of his toys and routine, and has a very short attention span, it may even be a "disorder." As a child this "little boy" got tired of his Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Roger Maris baseball cards, and on a whim traded all three for some Detroit Tiger flash-in-the-pan who got sent back to the "farm" shortly after the deal was consummated. Those Yankee cards went on to be quite valuable and Gimme was so sad. The "flash-in-the-pan" card ended up clothes-pinned to his bicycle fender strut. It made a cool motor noise flapping in the spokes... till the card was shredded. By days end Gimme had shredded the entire 1961 New York Yankees team... the year Mantle and Maris chased The Babes home run record and the Yanks swept the Reds in the World Series. Regrets, I've had a few...


Regarding regrets, I rode a treadmill for all it was worth for as long as I could hang on. I remember watching RV rig after RV rig pass by my office window every summer for 23 long years, nursing a kite-dream of flying into the wild blue yonder. I hung in there waiting for the right time, enough money... a sign from God... none of which ever materialized. I truly sympathize with those waiting their turn. I couldn't reach that "kite-dream" as soon as I wanted, so I settled for it's "tail." It was a glorious jailbreak, but it proved unsustainable. Parole Officers suck.  


In the end, I may not possess the "ideal" RV lifestyle... I'm not "funded" in retirement by anyone but little ole me... with the exception being, come January Uncle Sam will begin sending me monthly Social Security checks amounting to a whopping 450 bucks (don't ask, it's a long story). So, Bobbie and I work every summer in order to make ends meet. We are patient and content with the "kite-tail," knowing it somehow landed us here in Lovely Ouray. Our backyard is as grand as anything we've found on the road, coast to coast... border to border. But that doesn't mean a damn thing to the short attention spanned "Gimme." 


The RV At The End Of The Rainbow
For now, we have been demoted, so to speak, and spend winters in our little A Frame Chalet. It has it's advantages (small) and disadvantages (small). I realize all RVs have their drawbacks and pluses... but man, some of those motorhomes. It doesn't help that every damn day I am forced to walk the "RV Dreamers Gauntlet" of 4-J RV Park. I stop and drool over endless possibilities and scenarios... scan windshields of old Bounders for "For Sale" signs hoping to score a headache disguised as a bargain. I sheepishly confessed to our dinner friends that I'm just an RV "floozie." Maybe it's the "hunter instinct" rearing it's ugly head. Always a hunter, men.

So I'm the last guy you want to consult when it comes to selecting the proper RV. I mean, how does a "sinner" lead souls to the Lord? Who worse to give RV advice than me (sign of the cross... hail Mary full of grace). It'd be like Jimmy Swaggart opening a school for wayward women, or Jerry Sandusky becoming a counselor at the YMCA. Yes, I do have a lot of experience... most of which I've lived to regret. Hindsight being 20-20, the RV irony is that I got it right the first time but didn't have the depth of perception to realize it. Gimme got bored, "Whaaaa." The only RV I haven't thrown myself at is a Motorhome, but that's just what's catching my eye at 4-J. Yep, this preacher's son has size 14 feet of clay.

It's Time For Change
No matter the RV, I'm in love with the unscripted freedom of an "On The Road" lifestyle. It's a powerful magnet, and I got a heart of steel. Vagabonding makes me feel like I'm in charge of my life and whereabouts. Some of us are predisposed to require change in order to thrive. Put rats in a maze with no outlets and they give up, quit eating, and die. People have their own mazes, and they end up eating each other. Some need to "leave." Some need to get out of the "maze." 

Deja vu All Over Again
It's only July and I'm breaking out maps and watching the price of gas. Even though we've "been there and done that" four, maybe five times, I still look forward to spending all of November at the Gateway to Zion where we stay at the upscale Zion River RV Resort.  I think it was Joseph Smith who tagged Zion with its name... aptly so, because it means "Kingdom of heaven" in Morman-speak. Old Jo was no fool landing in Utah, one of the most wondrous and diverse states of all. I like that the RV Resort is surrounded by BLM land laced with trails for walking and mountain biking. The Resort also has a pool and hot tub, and puts on a genuine Thanksgiving feast, as well as weekly food-fests. We will boondock before and after November, but for 30 days and 425 bucks, you will find us in Virgin, Utah, camped next to the river. You should join us. 

So call me an RV Boondocking turn-coat sissy, but... I really love rolling around in "amenities" once in a while. Last year we parked our little Chalet, proud as could be, right next to Richie Riche's million dollar Prevost Motor Home. We couldn't imagine their life; they couldn't imagine ours.

Meet My Friend, Felicity... A Cousin To Sara N. Dippity
Until a house sells we'll be happy with what we have. Money matters, but it plays second fiddle to "living," and by that I mean leaving the maze, coming and going at will, climbing Sedona's red rocks, walking Green Valley's well kept 60's neighborhoods, hiking Mount Wrightson's pines, and one mile away, Sonoran Desert cacti. Let me explore, experience and reside in places that roust senses from societal induced comas... tear the eye with felicity. 
Felicity, sweet felicity. 


Our "Bark" Is Worse Than Our "Hike and Bike"
After a fine dinner I suggested we go across the street to Mouse's Chocolates for a Scrap Cookie dessert. The air smelled clean, freshly ionized by lightning and cooled with welcomed pitter pats of rain. A setting sun managed to burrow a hole through clouds, dancing on mists of moisture. Soon, there was refracted a most dazzling rainbow, it hung over Lovely Ouray like a Chamber of Commerce "Welcome Tourists" banner (cue the doe and her spotted fawn). It vanished as suddenly as it appeared, but not before Bobbie managed a photo (top).


I hope our dinner friends do buy an RV; it will help ease them into "retirement life" and, possibly, introduce them to a whole new lifestyle... where paupers camp right along side princes, and end up sharing a campfire way out in the middle of nowhere. Like all our friends, they promised to come boondock with us. We'll see... that has only happened once or twice in all the years. I think people are afraid we'll hike them to death or something... a totally unfair suspicion. We've been known to stroll....


And, speaking of "Hike," here's part one of photos from our Bullion King Lake trek.  :))  Now go outside and have a great day.
















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12 comments:

  1. A great read today followed by more of your spectacular photographs. Come January, don't forget to get your free geezer pass for federal lands. Happy trails!

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  2. I like watching butts on the trail. Maybe that's because I'm slow and always behind whoever I hike with.

    Not sure there really is the "perfect" RV. Took almost 20 years of trial and error for me. Now I have the perfect 5er home that I don't even travel in. On the search for a slide in camper that isn't 12-40 feet long so I can go play in a bit of comfort and still get anywhere I want to drive.

    Wishing your friends good luck. And you too.

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  3. The Desert ScruffJuly 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    You're rolling along at top writing form, Mark, and it's funny and sad at the same time. But true, so true.

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  4. Gumo,
    Good advice... I already am a "geezer," tho :))

    Gaelyn,
    40 feet does limit a boon docker/explorer. So if you keep the fiver and get a slide in camper for the truck, you got the best of both worlds! I like it, but come time to move it could create logistical problems.''

    Desert Scruff,
    Thank you... I've been squeezing my "pen" lately... trying to raise the bar. You noticing and saying so makes me almost believe it's true.
    thanks, mark

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  5. You've adapted to your "circumstance" pretty well, and I would trade mine for yours in a heartbeat.

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  6. Anon.
    Thanks for the kind "reminder." I needed that.
    mark

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  7. hey mark, that meet up at the zion river rv resort sound's great. i'm been fallowing your blog from the beginning,an remenbering some of the photo's of the thanksgiving feast look realy good. count me in gary

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  8. Gary G.
    Ok, we'll be there... soaking in the hot tub, soaking in the sun, and soaking in some gorgeous hikes and bikes in Zion Country!
    Anybody else?
    See you in November.
    mark

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  9. Great wildflowers! My husband is an RV floozie as well. We've only had our 37 ft fifth wheel a year and he called me from the dealership and told me to go online to look at a used Phaeton. Sigh.

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  10. Pam and Wayne,
    Good to know I'm not alone :)) Those Motorhomes have been batting their eyes at me lately... and I'm a sucker for that. Hope you get to move your RV schedule up, I know the pain of waiting.
    thanks
    mark

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  11. My wife and I (along with two dogs) just started our fulltiming in a 31 foot 5th wheel. We found your blog through Boonie and Wandrin Lloyd. It was fun reading for a year before we finally hit the road (and it's still fun reading). This is the first RV we ever owned, but we spent two years researching options. We do a lot of boondocking and about the only change I'd make would be to figure out how to reasonably go smaller and not have the four of us be tripping over eachother all the time. Those big motorhomes would be too much house for us! :-)
    Keep posting the hikes. We'll be looking to do all of them next year.
    Cheers!

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  12. John V.
    Thanks for commenting, and I'm glad you found the BCB!!
    I know the perfect rig is often a smaller rig... but we went too far :)). If we had even a poodle it would be too crowded.
    I'm glad to hear you enjoy our hikes. Use those posts for reference when you get here... or just call us :))

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